TAMPA, Fla. -- Fourteen Air Commando members are walking 450 miles for one reason: to honor their fallen brothers and sisters.
Step by step, the group started at the headquarters for all military branches' special operations: MacDill Air Force Base. They will relay in teams of four and three up the panhandle to Hurlburt Field.
"For us, the way we see ourselves -- the Air Commando community -- we see ourselves as a family," said one of the ruck march organizers, Jared Brupbacher.
Brupbacher has served with the U.S. Air Force for 10 years. Like most the 14 Air Force members with him on the ruck march, he is volunteering to do this on his off-time and he did not know those fallen Air Commandos.
"When you are out there flying with them, working with them, it develops a bond," said Brupbacher. "That whole kind of 'band of brothers' idea. It is kind of unspeakable."
The group started at MacDill Air Force Base at the Special Operations Force Memorial, with a sendoff from a chaplain. They hope their ruck march will raise awareness and funds for the families of the fallen.
"Those guys go all-out so we are going all-out for them," said Abhishek Dohari, who is also ruck marching.
"The ruck march pays homage to the fallen, because a ruck is a heavy backpack that we carry around overseas on our missions, and this is us carrying a lighter version of those rucks, 450 miles for them," said Brupbacher.
The teams will finish in one week and you can keep up with their march on their Facebook Page: Air Commando Ruckers.