Marines pass through Grand Strand on 770-mile trek to honor Marine Raiders killed in 2015 crash

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A group of Marines are making their way to Myrtle Beach as they honor the seven Marine Raiders and four Army National Guardsmen who died March 10, 2015 when the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter they were on crashed into the Santa Rosa Sound in Navarre, FL during a night training mission.

Four National Guardsmen who were piloting the aircraft died.

The group is covering a little over 770 miles total, and each person is rucking it one step at a time with 45 pounds of gear.

Fourteen Marine Raiders from Camp Lejeune began the relay-style march over the course of 11 days. Starting from the crash site in Navarre, FL, the men were divided into seven two-man teams, with each team averaging 11 miles before the next team took over.

The Marine Raiders crossed from Florida into Georgia and South Carolina before ending at Stone Bay on Camp Lejeune.

One of the staff sergeants who asked only to be called by his first name, Caleb, said he and the 13 other marchers have seen quite a bit of support since they started walking.

"There's been a lot, especially here in Myrtle Beach. This has been by far the best we've had yet. So, we definitely appreciate it," he said.

Bill Barber, who owns the SBB biker bar in Murrells Inlet, said he appreciates it even more.

While trekking through the inlet, the group stopped briefly to switch teams, with each team representing one of their fallen brothers. Barber said he and dozens of others came to show their support, bringing water and food to the tired marchers.

"We just want to show our support and show them that we love them and that we care about what they're doing, and take notice so that the rest of America knows what's going on," Barber said.

The Raiders are set make it through North Myrtle Beach sometime after 3 a.m. on Saturday, March 19, and hope to hit their final stop, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, by March 22.

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