Students finish 12-hour ruck to honor Fallen Raider
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Dedication. Courage. Commitment.

Last weekend, 18 of our friends at the USD HERO Club pushed themselves through the physically and mentally grueling 12-hour 'HERO Raider Challenge: In Honor of Captain Matthew Manoukian.' The students' hard work and motivation helped raise nearly $8,000 to further the mission of the MARSOC Foundation and support Raiders and their families. There is still time to donate in support of these students, who are making incredible accomplishments while honoring our heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Read on to learn more from the perspective of three students who participated and how they were impacted. We are grateful for everyone's hard work and help in supporting the Raider community!

"We prepared individually, we worked out individually, we packed our rucks for the event individually, but we stepped in front of the cadre on this day and realized we had to be a team. 18 of us started and finished together. 18 of us pushed and carried each other. 18 of us did it to honor Captain Manoukian and all the men like him. We honor the men that aren't heard about in the news, the men that sacrifice for us to live our lives. We also honor those families that one day got a folded flag delivered to their front door with a devastating message. We did this event for a purpose larger than ourselves. We did this event for each other and for them because, for their sacrifice, we are forever thankful." - Tiffany Roberts
"Two Marines shared the story of an engagement gone wrong: in one burst of gunfire, their friend and commanding officer had been severely injured. They described the circumstances of that day and molded it into a tale of effective communication and leadership. What we didn’t know until hours later was the incredible risk and dedication that these two exhibited, when our 18 eager faces surrounded the officer who had taken a bullet to the spine. He crafted an entirely different story about 'the best and worst day' of his life. He brimmed with pride as he described the heroics of his men, and how their reactions, actions, and dangerous, unselfish feats led to his life being saved. None of these three Marines would speak a word about themselves. As I suffered through the night in my own pain, I knew that I had seen three of the most exceptional examples of selflessness I could have found in those three warriors. That is something I will carry with me as long as I live." - Riley Whitsitt
"What motivated me to get through the event was the thought of Capt. Manoukian and his father. Capt. Manoukian had given his life for this country and he endured much more hardship and training than these 12 hours could possibly throw at me. I kept thinking about this each time I thought I was going to fail: there were men like him who had done so much more and who have given the ultimate sacrifice. I had no excuse to give up. Part of my individual packing list was an American flag that we dedicated to Capt. Manoukian. Not only did I have the distinct honor of carrying the flag dedicated to the Hero of our event, but I would get to hand it to that Hero’s father on behalf of the USD HERO Club at the end of the 12 hours. Every time I thought of that flag, and of what would happen at the end, I found the motivation to keep going; every time I wanted to quit or my strength faltered, I thought about how I was one step closer, one pushup closer, one stroke through the water closer to the end, and to passing on that flag." - Jacob Schultz
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