Camp Foster hosts 4th Annual Memorial 5K in honor of fallen Operation Sahayogi Haat Marines

by Lance Cpl. Samuel Brusseau
Marine Corps Installations Pacific

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan -- U.S Marines, sailors, and members of the Okinawa community, came together on Camp Foster for the Lance Cpl. Hug and Cpl. Medina memorial five-kilometer run May 23.

On May 12, 2015, Cpl. Sara A. Medina, a combat photographer, and Lance Cpl. Jacob A. Hug, a combat videographer assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan, died while documenting humanitarian relief efforts in Nepal during Operation Sahayogi Haat.

The event is held in honor all fallen service members, the two Communications Strategy and Operations Marines, and the four Marines with HMLA-469, who were also lost during the relief operation.

Headquarters and Support Battalion’s Marines, executed the run in unison, in a massive formation - while individual competitors raced for the best times.

Col. Vincent J. Ciuccoli, commanding officer of Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installation Pacific, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, addressed the hundreds of participants at the event.

“I want Marines to understand something very clear; every minute of yours, or someone you care about is a precious moment so make the most of what you can with them,” said Ciuccoli. “Never take for granted or forget them when they’re gone. Hug and Medina left an amazing legacy in this battalion and i’m glad to be leading in a place they once served."

Medina and Hug were considered vital assets to the combat camera shop they were assigned to, according to the Marines who served alongside them. Medina held not only the roles assigned to her, but also acted as a mentor to all Marines in the shop. Hug was a Marine who always took what he was taught to a new level and was referred to as a subject matter expert.

This year marks the 4th occasion this memorial run was held on Camp Foster and throughout the United States Marine Corps.

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