Marines

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Two family members of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, sprint down the Combat Center?s Physical Fitness Test course during a ?To Iraq and Back? walk Oct. 22. The program began with the goal to walk the distance from the Combat Center to Iraq and back, which is 16,416 miles.

Photo by Pfc. Michael S. Cifuentes

'To Iraq and Back';2/7 families tread same distance as deployed loved ones

28 Oct 2005 | Pfc. Michael S. Cifuentes

Families and friends of the Marines and Sailors of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, joined together Oct. 22 at the Combat Center’s Physical Fitness Test course on Del Valle Road to walk three miles as part of their “To Iraq and Back” program.The "2/7 Families: To Iraq and Back" is a program intended to promote well-being, relieve stress and build cohesiveness among the 2/7 family. “This program allows all family members to actively support the Marines and Sailors who are fighting in Iraq right now,” said Sally Salmons, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mark R. Salmons, battalion gunner.The walk began with the goal to replicate the distance 2/7 has traveled, as well as their return home.The total distance from Twentynine Palms to Iraq and back is 16,416 miles. Each person involved in the program commits to walking, running, biking or swimming several miles each week and collectively will eventually have "traveled" the same distance to Iraq and back.The unit is over three months into deployment and the participants of the program have blown past their goal by traveling over 25,433 miles.“Today we are here not only to walk, but to celebrate making it halfway through the deployment in good spirits,” said Laura Adams, wife of Capt. Claude L. Adams, company commander of Headquarters and Services Company. “This has been a great way to meet some of the family members of the brave men who are deployed. There’s a great sense of camaraderie here and we all just can’t wait to meet each other when [the unit] returns.”A monthly newsletter is posted on the 2/7 Web site informing families the miles walked per month and the total amount. 7,938 miles were walked in September, 9,195 miles were walked in August and 8,299 miles were traveled in July.An update of the miles walked and program events are sent to the Marines and Sailors of 2/7 every month.There are about 360 family members committed to the seven-month program in places all over the world, said Adams. From New Zealand to Germany, 2/7 has family members in different countries that are participating in the program and showing their support by walking the miles and making efforts to keep in-step with their loved ones who are deployed.“We encourage other units interested in creating a similar program to contact us attoiraqandback@adelphia.net.” said Salmons. “It’s a good way to do our part and stay active until our Marines and Sailors return.”More information on the program can be viewed on 2/7’s Web site at http://www.29palms.usmc.mil/fmf/2-7.
Headquarters Marine Corps