Sorry, you are not allowed to register by yourself on this site!
You must either be invited by one of our team member or request an invitation by contacting us via contact page.
MCB QUANTICO, Va. — Marine will run one mile for every year the Marine Corps is old, each mile dedicated to a different fallen comrade.
There is nothing unusual about a Marine running. For one Marine however, during the last two weeks of October each mile will have special significance.
From Oct. 15-30, Capt. Jason W. Dequenne, the assistant logistics officer at The Basic School, will be running a mile for every year the Marine Corps is old. His final 26.2 miles of the 236.2 mile journey will be during the Marine Corps Marathon.
More importantly each one of those miles will be dedicated to a different Marine who was killed in action during Operation Iraq Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
“I always thought it’d be cool to do something like this by yourself, but there wasn’t any meaning behind it (at first) really besides it being the Marine Corps birthday,” Dequenne said. “It’s hard to do something of this magnitude without a purpose.”
This past year for Dequenne has been more difficult than others. Those challenges have made him realize that simply running to honor the Corps’ birthday wasn’t enough.
“I’ve had a lot of Marines who meant a lot to me not make it back from Iraq or Afghanistan the way you would want them to,” said Dequenne. “They never made it back to their families’ loving arms.”
Hearing about Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice broke his heart, but he was also frustrated that their individual stories weren’t being told. The public wasn’t getting the stories of the service member who had died or their individual sacrifice, just their name and rank.
“I thought something should be done to highlight those brave men and women who raised their right hand and stepped forward,” said Dequenne. “(I wanted to) explain who they are and what got them to where they were.
“Each and every one of our Marines who fell in combat deserved to have their story told. If I can do it by running a few miles and talking to a few people about those individual stories, than that’s what I need to do.”
Dequennes’ biggest concerns are staying healthy while he prepares for the journey and preventing his body from breaking down before he completes it. Luckily, he has others helping him along the way.
“I’m just a small part in this,” said Jay Sadory, a certified athletic trainer at Ramer Hall. “We are trying to prevent injury and help him recover using different stretches, exercises and ice baths.”
“I am willing to go to extraordinary lengths to finish, no matter what this is,” said Dequenne. “I have already contacted some of the families of the fallen Marines. When they hear what I am up to, they’ve told me how incredibly touched they are that somebody is trying to tell their loved ones’ stories. I haven’t even taken one step except for training. That’s powerful and it keeps me motivated so I know I can’t fail; I won’t fail them.”
“It makes me feel incredibly proud but also scared,” he said. “Successful completion of the mission is riding on me, and though I haven’t really begun there is still an impact that’s been made knowing that somebody that’s lost something that’s irreplaceable is feeling better.”
The event is called A Mile in Their Shoes and a website is being completed as well as a Facebook page and Twitter account so that people can follow Dequenne’s progress.
Submit a name or song
If you know of a Marine who was killed in action during OEF or OIF, contact Capt. Dequenne at email@example.com with the name of the Marine, contact information for the next of kin and their story.
Dequenne is also asking for suggestions on motivational songs for him to listen to during his runs.
“When the miles are long, if that song is playing in my head then I know somebody is there with me and though enough to be a part of this,” Dequenne said.