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Cadets from Appalachian’s ROTC program compete in Mountain Man March

mtnmanmarch_t.jpgBOONE—Cadets from Appalachian State University competed in the 2nd Annual Mountain Man March held in Gatlinburg, Tenn., and earned top honors.

Joseph Beckman placed third among the 215 individuals participating in the 26.2-mile ruck march with a time of six hours and 34 minutes. A five-cadet team from Appalachian finished fourth among the 33 teams in the event with a time of eight hours and 33 minutes.

Each participant wore a 35-pound rucksack during the march.

Cadets from Appalachian State University’s ROTC program participated in the 26.2-mile Mountain Man March held in Gatlinburg, Tenn. They marched in honor of Marine Lance Cpl. William C. Koprince Jr., who was killed in Iraq in 2006. Also pictured are members of the Koprince family. (Photo submitted)

The march was established to honor a University of Tennessee alumnus and Army first lieutenant who was killed in Iraq in 2007.

Jon Austin, a senior religious studies major at Appalachian, was the team captain. Other members of the team were Spencer McKinney, a sophomore political science major; Ben Allumbaugh, a senior criminal justice major; Jonathan Flynn, a freshman history major; and Jay Hosack, a junior communication/advertising major.

The motto of the event is “Honor through actions.” Proceeds from the event support the Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund.

Appalachian was one of 15 teams selected to represent a Gold Star Mother during the march. Gold Star Mothers are those who have had a son or daughter killed in combat or who died from wounds received in combat. The organization was founded in 1928.

Austin said the cadets met with the family of Marine Lance Cpl. William C. Koprince Jr. from Lenoir City, Tenn., Koprince was killed in Iraq in 2006. They wore a patch with Koprince’s photo and name on their uniform, and Austin carried an American flag in his rucksack that Koprince had carried during his tour of duty in Iraq.

Teams from other university ROTC programs, the U.S. Army, Air Force and National Guard, and law enforcement agencies participated in the march.