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Marines to run 69 miles to honor Chesty Puller

Marines from Fort Lee will be completing a 69-mile run on Friday, November 14, to honor one of the most decorated Marines in the Corps’ 233-year history, General Chesty Puller.

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Lt.Gen. Chesty Puller
The run will last for over 7 hours and take the more than 100 participating Marines from Fort Lee to the home of General Puller in Saluda, and then to Christ Church, where the Marines will pay their respects at the grave of Lt.Gen. Puller. 

The Marine Corps Detachment will start the run at 5 a.m. It will be executed in 2 to 3 mile intervals with two Marines per interval. Once in Middlesex, the Marines will gather at about 1:30 p.m. on Routes 33 and 17 Business near Hardee’s just outside of Saluda, before heading to Saluda and Christ Church.

Residents of the area are invited to watch the Marines make the run through Middlesex County.

To honor the marines participating in the run, a portion of General Puller’s former home in Saluda will be open to the public on November 14 from 1 to 5 p.m.

While all Marines learn about Chesty Puller during boot camp, only a select few are privileged to participate in a memorial run in his honor.

At his death in 1971, General Lewis “Chesty” Puller was one of the most decorated officers in Marine history. He participated in four World War II campaigns, the Korean War and expeditionary service in China, Nicaragua and Haiti. He is the only Marine to receive five Navy Crosses for heroism and gallantry in action.

Often called the “Marine’s Marine,” General Puller remains an iconic figure to all Marines serving around the world. “We train so that we may be able to react whenever called upon,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Michelsen, detachment commander at Fort Lee. “Some of us may never be called upon, but if we are, we need to be ready. When you are called upon to hold that line, you do it with professionalism and without hesitation. That’s what General Puller would have asked us to do.”

For more information contact Sharon Sharp (804) 445-4844.

posted 11.13.2008

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