The Air Commando ruck marchers made their way into Destin on Thursday afternoon, nearing the end of their 450-mile trek, and made a stop at the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village.
The 15 local Air Commandos from Hurlburt Field have been marching from Tampa, the home of the United States Special Operations Command. On Friday, the Air Commandos continued marching in teams to their final destination at Hurlburt Field. The march honors fallen heroes and is a way to raise money and awareness for the Air Commando Association.
“(The march raises) awareness of what we do and our cause.” said Jose Rodriguez, one of the 15 Air Commandos who was taking on the journey.
The Air Commando Association provides needed support and financial assistance to wounded Air Force Special Operators and their families.
HarborWalk Village handed out flags to people to support the ruck marchers and music playing during a short event to welcome them back.
“We will always get involved every chance we can and give thanks to those who have sacrificed their lives for us,” said Bruce Craul, chief operating officer of HarborWalk Hospitality.
Rodriguez said the journey has been great and the group had a chance to meet a lot of people along the way.
“We had people give us food, bottles of water and multiple sheriff’s office agencies escorted us,” he said.
Rodriguez’s wife Huijeong was waiting in anticipation for his arrival.
“I am so proud of him and excited I can finally see him after a week. It has been hard to stay in contact with him (during the march),” she said. “I’m really happy to have him back."