“If it’s something you feel passionate about, your body can do it,” according to Marine Corps Capt. Maggie Seymour. While reeat’s easy for an experienced runner to say, 161 is a daunting number of miles to run.
As part of the nonprofit, Valor Run, Seymour will be doing just that: running one mile for each of the 161 women who gave their lives during operations in Iraq and Afghanistan over four consecutive days.
On Feb. 25, she will kick off the run alongside newly commissioned Navy Lt. Michelle Gosselin. And friends of both Gosselin and Seymour will participate and support them along the way.
In order to prepare for the race, Seymour said she does back-to-back workouts, paired with crossfit and yoga.
The route will go all the way from Los Angeles to San Diego. Of the length, Seymour suggested that this race is for people who have a history with distance.
“I’ve done distance. I don’t think it’s an event you can pick and just train for. I think you have to have a pretty strong lead already,” she said.
Seymour said the Valor Run has three main objectives.
The first is financial. Through the run, Valor Run will raise money for the organization, Team Red, White, & Blue, and will also establish a scholarship fund for children of service members.
The other two goals are more about the people. Seymour wants to show the families of the fallen that their service members are and will always be remembered. She also wants to raise awareness of the significance of women in combat and highlight for civilians that women are actually playing an integral role in the military — as much as their male counterparts
Navy Capt. Nancy Lacore was the first person to run the race in October 2014. She used the run to raise $33,000 for charity. Bridget Guerrero, a former Marine Corps major, became the second to complete the race in July 2015.
As for anyone interested in running a Valor Run race, Seymour said, “don’t be intimidated by the distance.”
NEWPORT — The explosion and sinking of the ship in 1943 claimed at least 1,138 lives, and while the sea swallowed the bones there were people, too, who also worked to shroud the bodies.
The sinking of the H.M.T. Rohna was the greatest loss of life at sea by enemy action in the history of U.S. war, but the British Admiralty demanded silence from the survivors and the tragedy was immediately classified by the U.S. War Department.
Michael Walsh of Newport is working to bring the story of the Rohna to the surface with a documentary film, which includes interviews with some of the survivors of the attack. Walsh has interviewed about 45 men who were aboard the ship when it was hit.
Editor's note: this story originally appeared in 2018
How you die matters. Ten years ago, on Memorial Day, I was in Fallujah, serving a year-long tour on the staff and conducting vehicle patrols between Abu Ghraib and Ramadi. That day I attended a memorial service in the field. It was just one of many held that year in Iraq, and one of the countless I witnessed over my 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Like many military veterans, Memorial Day is not abstract to me. It is personal; a moment when we remember our friends. A day, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “sacred to memories of love and grief and heroic youth."