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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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Corps tramps 18 miles in symbolic passing of guard

The Corps of Cadets marched 18 miles Saturday in a round-trip trek from the quad to the Texas A&M Beef Center, near the Brazos River for the 37th annual March to the Brazos.Marquis Alexander, Corps Commander and senior international studies major, said the highlight of the march for cadets was the unofficial passing of positions for next year.”[The march] signals the last major obstacle of fish year and [the freshman] can really start to look forward to final review when they are no longer fish,” Alexander said. “For seniors, this is also a special time because this is where we ‘die’ and turn it over to the juniors to lead the Corps.”Besides the shifting of positions, the march signifies the Corps’ support of the March of Dimes, a nonprofit organization purposed to improve the health of women and babies, Alexander said.”[March of Dimes] is the forefront of the march and all of the Corps activities take a backseat,” Alexander said. “The program included some heartwarming stories from parents of premature babies who thanked the Corps for its support so that the cadets could really see the purpose and meaning in what we are doing. Hearing those stories lights a fire in you to get ready for the next year’s campaign.”Drew Alders, public relations officer of the Corps and senior agricultural economics major, said company E1 raised $19,824, the most this year. Alexander said the Corps has raised over $2 million for the organization since the campaign began in 1977.”Even though you’re competing against outfits to raise the most money, at the end of the day everyone is contributing,” Alders said.Once at the Beef Center, Alders said the cadets participated in bonding activities and a lunch. Then, to honor the March of Dimes, a presentation was held by a representative of the organization. Alders said the program felt very personal and heartfelt, giving meaning to the march.Alexander said the march holds special meaning to him and his Corps family.”No one wants to get up on a Saturday and walk 18 miles, but we do it because we realize that we are so blessed and fortunate to be able to, and so we use those gifts to bring awareness to those who are in positions that are not so fortunate,” Alexander said. “At the same time that we are helping others, we use it as an opportunity to empower and strengthen the classes below us with leadership opportunities for the upcoming year.”Jacob Clark, cadet and senior English major said the march symbolized the end to his time as a cadet.”March to the Brazos offered me some closure,” he said. “It meant the end of a long and significant four years of my life in the Corps of Cadets that literally changed my life. It meant a lot of relief from some of stress and drama that cadet life can be, but also meant the removal of a focus and mission that gave me something to do every day and look forward to every morning.”Alders said he also had mixed feelings surrounding the march but doesn’t feel like the end to his time in the Corps has truly come to an end.”It’s been a great and incredible experience with ups and downs,”Alders said. “March to the Brazos has been a part of that. It’s been amazing to see the Corps change and be a part of that change and even more amazing to see younger cadets step in and take over. I’m honored to have been a part of it. Looking from the outside as a regular student, I’ll miss aspects of it but I’ve served my time.”Clark said he has faith in those taking the place of the outgoing senior class.”There are a lot of ups and downs to being a cadet, some will see the glass half full and others half empty, but you get out of it what you give it,” Clark said. “I gave a lot to the Corps of Cadets, not just my time and energy, but my heart and soul. The experience was truthfully an exciting and somber moment because I was closing the door on something that meant a lot to me, but then opening a new one towards my future after I leave. I can finally sit down and say ‘I’m done. I’ve done my part. It’s time for me to leave it to the next guy.'”

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