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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Cadets support service members’ families with winter ruck march from California to Oregon

Five+cadets+spent+their+winter+break+marching+to+raise+money+for+the+Special+Operations+Warrior+foundation.
Photo by Courtesy

Five cadets spent their winter break marching to raise money for the Special Operations Warrior foundation.

Braving strong winds and heavy snowstorms, five members of the Corps of Cadets walked over 1,000 miles, for a good cause.
The second-ever Project Atlas Ruck was planned and executed by members of Company H-1 — industrial distribution senior Sebastian Brown, mechanical engineering junior Hunter Birt, international studies sophomore Ethan Lochner, construction science sophomore Taylor Elliott and English junior Nathanael Duty. Their trek began in Death Valley, California on Dec. 28 and ended on Jan. 7 in Portland, Oregon. Through their efforts, the group raised over $9,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides support to the families of Special Operations personnel who are killed or wounded in the line of duty.
Brown said the cadets’ experiences in the Corps gave them the mindset they needed to carry out Project Atlas.
“We all just figured that we had been given so much opportunity at A&M,” Brown said. “We wanted to just do something special with the time we had been given during Christmas break to try to do something for a good cause as opposed to relaxing and to give back to a good military organization and to help out with families who have done so much for us.”
Throughout the hike, the men dealt with weather conditions that pushed their bodies to the limit, from sore ankles to aching Achilles tendons. Birt said being part of Company H-1 prepared them to handle the obstacles and to fight through the aches and pains.
“I would say that definitely being in Company H-1 gives you the mindset that there is something bigger than yourself,” Birt said. “My outfit specifically always challenges you to be better physically and to try to give back when you can.”
Raising awareness and funds for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation made all those miles worth it, according to Duty.
“Seeing people rally behind us, meeting people on the road, or donating to the cause and getting to succeed with other guys through hardship and getting to know them more from seeing them at their weakest and strongest points was definitely one of the most rewarding experiences,” Duty said.
For more information about Project Atlas, visit @projectatlasrucks on Facebook.Donations can be made at tx.ag/ProjectAtlas.

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