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White Sands Seeks Signups for Bataan Memorial March

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7, 1999 – White Sands Missile Range, N.M., is seeking military and civilian participants from throughout DoD for its 11th annual Bataan Memorial Death March April 18, 1999.

The largest military memorial march in the country recognizes the sacrifices of thousands of U.S. and Filipino service members overwhelmed by the Japanese in the Philippines during World War II. More than 1,900 marchers participated in the 1998 memorial event.

The course covers 25 miles of southern New Mexico desert ranging in elevation from 4,100 to 5,300 feet above sea level. The route crosses hilly terrain, winds around a small mountain and returns to the main post through sandy trails and washes.

Active and reserve component and retired members, ROTC cadets and civilians can compete in light and heavy divisions as individuals and team. All heavy division marchers carry a 35-pound rucksack; light division entrants do not. Military marchers in both divisions are required to wear full field gear other than the rucksack; civilians should wear appropriate attire for a desert road march, White Sands officials said.

Teams may consist of up to seven people, but at least five must cross the finish line together within a 10-yard gate. Team categories include male civilian light, female civilian light, male military light, female military light, male military heavy, female military heavy, Junior ROTC military light, coed civilian light, coed military light, coed military heavy, ROTC light, ROTC heavy, National Guard light and National Guard heavy.

Individual categories are male light, male military light, male military over 40 light, male military heavy, male over 40 light, female light, female military light, female military over 40 light, female military heavy and female over 40 light.

Top three winners in each category will receive medals. The first National Guard team and the first ROTC team to finish will receive traveling trophies.

Team fee is $100 for entries postmarked by April 1, 1999, or $130 thereafter. Individual fees are $20 and $30, respectively. The fee includes souvenir T-shirts and an informal meal during the closing ceremony. Make checks payable to IMWRF and mail to:

Bataan Memorial Death March

Community Recreation Division

P.O. Box 400

White Sands Missile Range, NM 88002.

Applications and other march information will be posted on the White Sands Web site, http://www.wsmr.army.mil, as it becomes available, or call the public affairs office at (505) 678-1134 or DSN 258-1134.

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