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AFJROTC leads annual Bataan March trek

By Submitted, 04/2/19 10:29 PM

HOPE – The Hope High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps unit was the lead contingent for 93 HHS and Hope Academy of Public Service students in the recent Bataan Death March remembrance walk from Prescott to Hope.
The 14-mile walk commemorates the World War II forced-march of more than 70 miles by American and Filipino soldiers captured by Japanese forces in the fall of the Philippine Islands in 1942.
The weakened defenders were forced to surrender; some 66,000 Filipinos and 10,000 Americans were captured and force-marched from the southern tip of the Bataan Peninsula some 66 miles inland, where they were loaded into cramped railway boxcars and taken north, before the survivors were marched another 7 miles to a military POW camp. Many of the POWs died of suffocation with more than 100 men crowded into standing positions in each boxcar in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.
During the main body of the march some 2,500 Filipinos and 500 Americans either died or were summarily executed along the way. Prisoners who were too weak to walk, or those who did not keep the pace, were shot or bayoneted, and in some cases beheaded.
Of the 54,000 prisoners who ultimately made it to POW Camp O’Donnell, 26,000 Filipinos and 1,500 Americans died in captivity from starvation or disease.
Survivors who told their stories after the recapture of the Philippines by troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur caused the phrase “Bataan Death March” to become a battle cry for American and Allied victory in the Pacific war.
AFJROTC cadets who complete the memorial trek earn the AFJROTC Bataan Ribbon, Master Sergeant Arthur Mickles, unit instructor, said.
Students participating in the event included JaTario B. Lewis, Liliton Adamson, Britney Alvarado, LuzElena Alvarenga, Gabriela Bautista, Marcus Bell Jr., Oswaldo Bello, Adriana Borboa, Caden Brown, Tamea Carroll, Brianna Cole, Yesenia DeLaRosa, Jamia Dixon, Nathaniel English, Aniya Flenory, David Flores, Oshionna Flower, Rebekah Fulton, Lavon Glover, Nohemi Gomez, Josue Gutierrez, Madison Hair, Monkaya Hall, Naziyah Harper, Skylar Hawthorne, Tamera Henderson, and Rickevia Henry.
Also, Isaac Hernandez, Malik Holyfield, Jasianna Johnson, Jordon Johnson, Joshua Johnson, Kaylia Johnson, Kristin Johnson, Bradley Keller, Kyana Kight, Gianna Knight, Alaysia Lewis, Christian Lewis, Michael Magee, Debria Manton, Shantiecia Marshall, Alan Martinez, Rocio Martinez, Michelle Mayo, Keasia McDonald, Magaly Moreno, Lavario Morris, Michael Morrison, Digo Ortiz, and Peyton Parker.
Others included Davionna Perkins, Jacob Pettit, Charitie Phillips, Torrey Phillips, Pablo Pixa, Jalen D. Pool, Marisol Reyes, Briana Rodriguez, Felicia Rodriguez, Uriel Sanchez, Jordyn Simington, Khyianna Smith, Jaiden Tucker, Danielle Unort, Autumn Ward, Na’Tyia White, T’alayshia White, Karl Williams, Roosevelt Wyatt, Kaijah Harris, and Tresan Ogden.
Also, Carroll Breaunna, Tyra Wesley, Bryeasia Gulley, Autumn Lindsey, Nadya Munoz, Jada McClure, Zakarreya White, Ahyanna Gulley, Diego Ortiz, and F. Briffith.
Also, K. Cox, Z. Raglan, N. Magee, J. Daugherty, Z. Blocker, L. Ingram, T. Hernandez, M. Waters, K. Martin, and C. Wyatt.