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Soldiers march 12 miles to honor their own
GULF SHORES, Ala. (WPMI) Eleven soldiers all members of the 1165th Alabama National Guard unit marched 12 miles along State Highway 59 in full uniform today carrying a 50 pound rucksack on their backs. An early start and a long march under the hot sun is nothing new for these national guard soldiers. There's a reason why they did it on this day. Memorial day. "We are marching for all veterans, for all people who lost their lives in the line of duty but mainly what we are rucking for is our dedication to individuals. I'm rucking for my football coach's brother Michael Frank Bell who lost his life in the line of duty in action in Vietnam," said Brandon Thompson with the 1165th. Each member of the 1165th Military Police Company marched in honor of a fallen soldier. With each step from Foley to Gulf Shores people waved and honked some wanted a closer look. "I think its pretty cool I have family that's army and navy. My grandfather was navy," said Gina George. Once they arrived at the beach in Gulf Shores honoring all fallen soldiers took on new meaning. "I saw them walking down and I made a u turn I turned around and stayed with them. I love my veterans my soldiers and everybody," said Peggy Morrison. That same feeling spread fast along the beach as so many witnessed a different but simple ceremony reminding all of us of the true meaning behind today's holiday. The 1165th hopes this will be an annual event and they hope it grows. "And it was only supposed to be two of them this year by it went viral on Facebook and we all joined in so I'm sure each year its going to get a lot bigger. We've met a couple people on the way who have lost loved ones so it means a lot," said Eric Karlstad with the 1165th.