On March 8 from 5 to 7 p.m., El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson and members from his office will be hosting a fundraising event to raise money for Operation Rebound. Team “Swole Patrol” will present the money raised to Operation Rebound at the end of the Bataan Memorial Death March on March 17.
All five members of the “Swole Patrol” are current or former members of the United States Military consisting of Deputy DA and retired Sergeant Brandon Erickson, Pierson, DA Investigator Bill Dillard and as cadets Sam Pierson and Nick Chung — who will commission as 2nd Lieutenants in the United States Army in June of 2013.
The Bataan Memorial Death March takes place in the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The event, a full marathon, involves individuals or teams, competing in two categories: Light and Heavy. The light team requires participants to run/walk the course, while the heavy team requires “rucking” with a 35 pound rucksack. Rucking is a combination of shuffling and long strides, due to the weight of the pack.
This event takes place annually and includes a wide variety of participants including Wounded Warriors and Active Duty Military Personnel, all of which come together in honor of the Bataan Death March that took place in the Pacific theatre during World War II. During the march, the Imperial Japanese Army forced thousands of American and Filipino soldiers to march over 80 miles following the Battle of Bataan. The march included the torture and murder of thousands of prisoners of war.
Aligned with Operation Rebound, Pierson and his team aim to raise money for permanently wounded military personnel, veterans and first responders in order to provide them the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
This organization has a special place within the District Attorney’s Office. This is due to the military background of several of the El Dorado DA’s office employees; more specifically “Swole Patrol” team member Brandon Erickson. Erickson suffered the loss of his right arm during a combat patrol during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. Operation Rebound plays a pivotal role in transitioning severely injured veterans, such as Erickson, into civilian life. Since his injuries, Erickson has participated in numerous Ironman Triathlons and will now participate in the upcoming Bataan Memorial March.
Those interested in donating on behalf of Operation Rebound are encouraged to come out and show their support at Café Campanelle on Friday, March 8.