VFW Is Again Title Sponsor of Bataan Memorial Death March

Sponsorship and participation ensure the story isn't forgotten

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - For the sixth consecutive year, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) proudly announced its presenting sponsorship of the 27th annual Bataan Memorial Death March. The 2016 march, slated to start this upcoming weekend, is held at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

The memorial march is a rigorous 26.2 miles through extremely challenging high desert terrain held in honor and remembrance of the heroic American service members who defended the Philippine islands during World War II, and who sacrificed their freedom, health, and in many cases, their very lives.

Since its inception, the march has grown from a few hundred participants to more than 6,500 service members, veterans and civilians who gather to march or run in the most grueling memorial event in the United States.

 “The VFW is extremely proud to be the presenting sponsor and salute the incredible sacrifices of all who endured and perished during the Bataan Death March,” said Lynn Rolf III, director of VFW Programs. “We must never forget these heroes and tell their story. I’ve had the opportunity to walk the same ground in the Philippines and now for the third year to run the Memorial Death March and can’t help but to reflect on the incredible courage and torture these prisoners went through.”

Every year, dozens of VFW and VFW Auxiliary members line the route to show their support for march participants. This year, service members and veterans will also have the opportunity to stop by the VFW booth where they can visit with VFW members and learn more about the essential assistance and support programs the VFW has to offer.

Representing the VFW during this year’s rigorous and demanding event will be a five-person #VFWBataan team comprised of several VFW members currently on active duty service, including a senior non-commissioned officer from Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

“I am very proud to be captaining a team of five VFW members as we, in a small part, endure the physical and emotional challenge to commemorate the Bataan,” said Lynn Rolf.

The VFW will keep you up-to-date on the #VFWBataan team’s progress by sharing their video check-ins from along the grueling 26.2 mile route on Facebook, but you can also search #VFWBataan on Twitter or Facebook to monitor their movement.