|Five members of the Noncommissioned (NCO) Officer
Academy at Fort McCoy participated as a group in a re-enactment of the
World War II Bataan Death March.
A group of Soldiers from the
Noncommissioned Officer Academy at Fort McCoy who participated
in the Bataan Death March re-enactment pause for a photo.
(Photo by Lisa Albert)
The event honored the heroic American and Filipino servicemembers who
defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their
freedom, health and, in many cases, their very lives.
The event, held in March at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M., was the
22nd reiteration of the event. A record 6,300-plus people participated.
Participants walked the 26.2-mile course — the length of a marathon —
braving sun, heat and this year, blasting wind, to honor a group of
Soldiers who endured much worse during World War II, according to an
Army News Service story.
Thousands of servicemembers died during the 1942 Bataan Death March.
They were overcome by the sweltering heat, all the while being denied
food and water and being abused by their captors, who would execute any
who fell behind.
Following the march many more died while being transferred to work camps
in Japan, as the transport ships they were on were not marked as prison
ships and as a result were attacked by American aircraft and warships.
The NCO Academy personnel who participated as a group in the
re-enactment event all the finished the course within the prescribed
time limits and were: Sgt. 1st Class Travis Buckendahl, senior small
group leader for the Warrior Leader Course (WLC); Sgt. 1st Class William
Krause, NCO Academy medic; Staff Sgt. Charles Abert, senior small group
leader for WLC; Staff Sgt. Jared Write, small group leader for WLC; and
Sgt. 1st Class John Zywicki, Advanced Leader Course small group leader.
All of the NCO Academy Soldiers participated for the first time except
for Zywicki who completed the event for the fourth time. First Sgt. Eric
Dahl, NCO Academy first sergeant, also participated in the re-enactment
The Soldiers who participate don’t gain material rewards for
participating, but are gratified to support those Soldiers who served
before them and carrying on their tradition of service and duty, Abert