Soldiers march 38 miles to spread holiday cheer to Barstow veterans

BARSTOW, Calif. (KABC) -- About 500 soldiers marched 38 miles from their base in Fort Irwin to the California Veterans Home in Barstow as part of an annual tradition to spread holiday cheer to our nation's heroes.

Through rain or shine, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment spent two days marching. When they arrived, more than 160 veterans greeted them.

"Everybody here is a veteran and to see this kind of acknowledgement is really good," Vietnam veteran Jim Wilson said.

While 38 miles might not seem like a long way for a highly trained soldier, they say it is.

"The hardest thing was just to keep going. Even through the pain and some of the blisters, you need to keep walking," U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Jade Lawrence said.

In the end though, they know it's not about exercise. It's about honoring and thanking the veterans.

"That's what it's all about is saying thank you to them, because our veterans have secured the liberties that this country enjoys," U.S. Army Col. Kevin Jacobi said.

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