Auburn University Navy ROTC members march to honor fallen Marines

Published: May 08, 2017
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On Tuesday, May 9, a group of 29 Marines, Sailors and Midshipman of the Auburn University Navy ROTC will depart on a four-day, 201.5-mile ruck march from Auburn to Navarre, Florida.

"Rucking for Raiders" is in memory of the members of Marine Special Operations Team 8231, or The Raider 7, an elite group of Marines who perished in a helicopter crash during a training accident on March 10, 2015.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Campbell, a current Auburn student and member of the NROTC, founded the march.

"As I drove home one day in October I thought of these men. I thought of their families," said Campbell. "I realized just how fortunate I was to be heading home to spend time with my wife and three children. I returned from Afghanistan with these men just months before that tragic day. That could have been me."

The group will march with 45 pounds on their backs from noon on May 9, until 6 a.m., on May 12, rain or shine. The participants will be broken down into three teams and each team will march 7.5 miles carrying seven memorial stones. Then they will link up with the next team where they will pass off their packs, and that team will conduct the next 7.5 miles.

Along with the Midshipmen of their unit, veteran students and veterans from the area have volunteered to participate throughout the march.

"We will humanize that tragic loss of true patriots and we will support the families left behind," said Campbell. "Always faithful, always forward."

The Raider 7 members being honored are Staff Sgt. Kerry M. Kemp, Capt. Stanford H. Shaw III, Master Sgt. Thomas A. Saunders, Staff Sgt. Andrew C. Seif, Staff Sgt. Liam A. Flynn, Staff Sgt. Marcus Bawol and Staff Sgt. Trevor P. Blaylock.

For updates on the march, go to facebook.com/rucking4raiders.