PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. (WBTW) – In March of 2015, seven United States Marines and four Army National Guardsmen crew members in a Blackhawk helicopter died in a crash in Florida on a training mission.
Early Saturday — to honor those fallen service men — a group of Marine Raiders and Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Navy Corpsmen marched across the South Carolina line into North Carolina for what’s called the Marine Raider Memorial March.
People lined Highway 17 in Pawleys Island to show their respect to the fallen soldiers, and for many, the march hit close to home.
“My brother is in the military, and he went to Iraq. So, I’m just blessed that it wasn’t him that they had to honor,” said Emily Myers, a supporter of the Marine Raiders.
Through the eyes of 12-year-old Anaiah Deas, the march symbolized support, support she says she’s needed in a family of Marines.
“To be able to hold your head up high and say I have somebody to lean on, that really takes courage and confidence to do,” said Deas.
Altogether, the trip is approximately 770 miles from Florida to North Carolina, and the service men and women say it’s all to represent the journey their brothers were never able to make home.
On Saturday, the group will be in Wilmington as they gear up for the final day of the march on Monday.
“It’s important for us for the families of the fallen that they understand that we’ll always be there to support them no matter what, that they’re forever part of the Raider community an in the Raider family,” said Marine Raider Andy Harrison.
The march is through four states with seven different teams rotating every ten miles.
The group is expected to finish their journey in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on Monday around 8:30 a.m, according to a schedule on their Facebook page. Click here to visit their Facebook page
— WNCN contributed to this report