Mountain Man Memorial March
American Legion Post 2, with the assistance of the University of Tennessee’s Army & Air Force ROTC units, is responsible for organizing the Annual Mountain Man Memorial March.
Created in 2007 by the members of the University of Tennessee’s Army ROTC Rocky Top Battalion to honor a friend and classmate who had been killed earlier that year in Iraq, this event has continued to grow each year. That year, forty Cadets marched 26.2 miles, each carrying a 35-pound rucksack to represent his sacrifice, along with a signed Gold Star flag and his photo. At the end of the march, they presented his family with the flag.
The following year, the Rocky Top Battalion challenged ROTC units from across the Southeast to join them in honoring fallen service members and their Gold Star Families (GSF). The response was overwhelming as more than 30 ROTC units from across the Southeast, Ohio, Michigan and Texas participated.
More than a decade later, this event this has become one of the largest events in the United States to celebrate the service and honor the ultimate sacrifice of these fallen service members. Along with more than 45 ROTC units, participants now include active duty military, reserve and guard units, veterans of all services, family & friends of the fallen, JROTC units, and even Cub Scouts Packs.