Chadron State College students who participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico have returned to Chadron, according to co-leader of the group, Sarah Polak.
She said over 5,000 people participated in this year’s event.
"I am proud to say that all 13 people from CSC who started the event finished the event and there were no serious injuries. If you see the students who participated, please congratulate them. It was both a physical and mental challenge for all who participated," said Polak.
Students and staff completing the 15.1 mile hike with less than a 35-pound pack: Jessica Koch, Nakaya Fester and Sarah Polak.
Students and staff completing the 26.2 mile hike with at least a 35-pound pack: Evan Baker, Justin Dekok, Kassie VanDiest, Joseph “Mario” Brown, Casey Stiles, Austin Welke, William Jeffery, Daniel Hogsett, Amanda Gibbs and Franklin Annis.
Polak said, "We would also like to give special thanks to Sgt. Carl Dehling who went with us as team support. He made the trip much easier for us in so many ways. Thank you, CSC, for your support with our canned food drive and best wishes."
The public is invited to a series of related events March 26. The students enrolled in the Survey of American Military History course have worked in teams to create exhibits about the Battle for Bataan and the Bataan Death March.
These exhibits will be unveiled at an opening reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the lower level of Crites Hall. The students will be to talk about their exhibits and their experiences of participating in the Bataan Memorial Death March, held on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. Refreshments will be provided.
Franklin Annis, instructor of the course said, “These exhibits display the incredible willpower of our American fighting men and women that were captured on Bataan. The exhibits are more than just a story about an isolated incident during WWII but an example of how team-work and leadership can be used by the U.S. Military to overcome incredible hardships.”
In addition to the exhibit opening, students will be hosting a showing of the movie “So Proudly We Hail” at the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center. This 1943 film is based on the true accounts of the nurses who served on Bataan. This is one of the few films, made during World War II, which highlights the role of women in war.
For more information about these events, please contact Annis at (402) 968-4506 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
—CSC Information Services