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Travis to host 8th Annual Gold Star Ruck March

Airman 1st Class Josue Jimenez, 60th Security Forces Squadron, carries a 30-pound rucksack during the Gold Star Families Ruck March at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., May 21, 2016. The ruck march consisted of carrying a 30-pound rucksack for 6.2 miles around the installation. Each rucksack was filled with non-perishable food items which were donated to Mission Solano. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

Airman 1st Class Josue Jimenez, 60th Security Forces Squadron, carries a 30-pound rucksack during the Gold Star Families Ruck March at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., May 21, 2016. The ruck march consisted of carrying a 30-pound rucksack for 6.2 miles around the installation. Each rucksack was filled with non-perishable food items which were donated to Mission Solano. Travis will host the 2018 Gold Star Ruck March on May 19, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

Military members and their families participate in the 7th Annual Gold Star Families Ruck March May 20, 2017 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The event, which featured 275 participants, is held every year by the Travis First Sergeant's Council to support Gold Star Families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

Military members and their families participate in the 7th Annual Gold Star Families Ruck March May 20, 2017 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The event, which featured 275 participants, is held every year by the Travis First Sergeant's Council to support Gold Star Families. Travis will host the 2018 Gold Star Ruck March on May 19, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

One of 275 participants nears the finish line of the 7th Annual Gold Star Families Ruck March May 20, 2017 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The event is held every year by the Travis First Sergeant's Council to support Gold Star Families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

One of 275 participants nears the finish line of the 7th Annual Gold Star Families Ruck March May 20, 2017 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The event is held every year by the Travis First Sergeant's Council to support Gold Star Families. Travis will host the 2018 Gold Star Ruck March on May 19, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

Military members and their families participate in the 7th Annual Gold Star Families Ruck March May 20, 2017 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The event, which featured 275 participants, is held every year by the Travis First Sergeant's Council to support Gold Star Families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

Military members and their families participate in the 7th Annual Gold Star Families Ruck March May 20, 2017 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif. The event, which featured 275 participants, is held every year by the Travis First Sergeant's Council to support Gold Star Families. Travis will host the 2018 Gold Star Ruck March on May 19, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman)

1st Lt. Derek Raska, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy flight chief readiness and emergency management, carries his unit's guideon while participating in the Gold Star Families Ruck March at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., May 21, 2016. Approximately 200 service members participated in the sixth annual GSFRM, honoring the more than 45 Gold Star family members who were in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

1st Lt. Derek Raska, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy flight chief readiness and emergency management, carries his unit's guideon while participating in the Gold Star Families Ruck March at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., May 21, 2016. Approximately 200 service members participated in the sixth annual GSFRM, honoring the more than 45 Gold Star family members who were in attendance. Travis will host the 2018 Gold Star Ruck March on May 19, 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Rivezzo)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – On May 19, Travis Air Force Base, California, will host the 8th Annual Gold Star Ruck March.

The event is held to honor Gold Star Families and will feature guest speakers, displays of fallen service members and a 6.2 mile course that participants can choose to walk or run with or without a 30-pound rucksack.

A Gold Star Family is one who has had one of their immediate family members die while serving in the U.S. armed forces.

“The goal for this year’s event is to make it the biggest it’s ever been,” said Master Sgt. Brandon Gallant, 60th Medical Operations Squadron first sergeant and the chairperson for this year’s ruck march. “Right now, we have about 100 people signed up and we’re hoping many more do so.”

“We are also trying to raise awareness about what a Gold Star Family is and just how important it is to recognize their loss,” said Master Sgt. Michael Gogue, 60th Surgical Operations Squadron first sergeant. “One of their family member’s gave their lives while serving our country.”

According to event organizers, between eight and 10 Gold Star Families will attend the event and one family member will serve as a guest speaker during a short ceremony before the march begins. Gallant has been involved with the march for the past three years and said it’s a humbling experience.

“We are taking Armed Forces Day and using that day to get the word out about people who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “The looks on the families’ faces when they see someone marching for their son or daughter is so awesome. That’s why I do it.”

Participants can compete in military or civilian light or heavy categories and the event is stroller friendly. Anyone marching in the military category must wear their service utility uniform. Civilian athletic attire is required for anyone participating in the civilian categories.

Teams of four can register for $65 and individuals can register for $20. All proceeds will be donated to a fund to support Gold Star Families.  In 2017, the event raised more than $2,000.

The march will begin at the 621st Contingency Response Wing’s mobility warehouse in Bldg. 924. Event organizers also encourage participants to pack their rucksacks with non-perishable canned food that can be donated to Mission Solano, a homeless shelter in Fairfield, California, after the march.

Registration for the march is open now. Participants can register online by visiting https://www.eventbrite.com/e/8th-annual-travis-afb-gold-star-ruck-march-registration-44968189064?aff=es2. Online registration closes May 15. After that, marchers can only register the morning of the event from 7:30 and 9:30 a.m.

 

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