Kirtland members march in Bataan Memorial Death March

Senior Airman Chandler Baker and Airman Lexi Crawford, 377th Air Base Wing's Public Affairs Office, pause at the halfway mark of the Bataan Memorial Death March to pose for a photo. The two participated in a 26-mile march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives. (Courtesy Photo)

Senior Airman Chandler Baker and Airman Lexi Crawford, 377th Air Base Wing's Public Affairs Office, pause at the halfway mark of the Bataan Memorial Death March to pose for a photo. The two participated in a 26-mile march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives. (Courtesy Photo)

About 7,200 people participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26-mile march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Chandler Baker)

About 7,200 people participated in the Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26-mile march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Chandler Baker)

Tech. Sgt. Guillermo Castellano, Staff Sgt. Tanner Theel, Master Sgt. Seth Stockwell and Tech. Sgt. Felipe Alvarado, 377th Security Force Group, get ready to participate in the Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26-mile march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Chandler Baker)

Tech. Sgt. Guillermo Castellano, Staff Sgt. Tanner Theel, Master Sgt. Seth Stockwell and Tech. Sgt. Felipe Alvarado, 377th Security Force Group, get ready to participate in the Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26-mile march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Chandler Baker)

Senior Airman Chandler Baker and Airman Lexi Crawford, 377th Air Base Wing's Public Affairs Office, celebrate successfully completing the Bataan Memorial Death March to pose for a photo. The two participated in a 26-mile march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives. (Courtesy Photo)

Senior Airman Chandler Baker and Airman Lexi Crawford, 377th Air Base Wing's Public Affairs Office, celebrate successfully completing the Bataan Memorial Death March to pose for a photo. The two participated in a 26-mile march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives. (Courtesy Photo)

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Several members from Team Kirtland sacrificed their weekend to march 26 miles in memory of those who suffered in the Bataan Death March.

The Bataan Memorial Death March is a challenging march through the high desert terrain of the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The memorial march is conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health, and, in many cases, their very lives.

Senior Airman Chandler Baker, who along with Airman Alexi Crawford represented the 377th Air Base Wing's Public Affairs Office, said completing the march was important to him because he wanted to pay homage to those who were in the Bataan Death March 75 years ago. 

"I did it for the 'Battling Bastards of Bataan,'" Baker said. "Those men are heroes. I was lucky enough to be in the presence of two of them before the march."

He said the march was grueling, but he's glad he participated.

"The last four miles, we used whatever we had left in our bodies and didn't stop," he said. "We pushed forward and finished, but it was definitely the hardest thing I've ever done athletically."

A team from the 377th Security Forces Group also participated in the memorial march: Tech. Sgt. Guillermo Castellano, Staff Sgt. Tanner Theel, Master Sgt. Seth Stockwell and Tech. Sgt. Felipe Alvarado.

The Bataan Death March was the forcible transfer by the Imperial Japanese Army of 60,000 to 80,000 Filipino and American prisoners of war in 1942.