Camp Foster's 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Hike

U.S. Marines and sailors assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, participate in a hike in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. around Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan on Jan. 16, 2019. The purpose of the hike was to commemorate Dr. King's life and his struggle to combat racial inequality through nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher A. Madero)
U.S. Marines and sailors assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, participate in a hike in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. around Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan on Jan. 16, 2019. The purpose of the hike was to commemorate Dr. King's life and his struggle to combat racial inequality through nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher A. Madero)

Camp Foster's 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Hike

by Cpl. Christopher Madero
U.S. Marine Corps

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – U.S. Marines and sailors assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, conducted a hike in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and achievements combatting racial inequality through nonviolent resistance on Jan. 16 on Camp Foster.

The event started with accountability taken, an invocation by the chaplain, and opening remarks by H&S BN’s commanding officer, Col. Vincent J. Ciuccolli.

“Many decades have passed (since Dr. King’s emergence) and yet we still have issues that need to be sorted out,” said Ciuccolli. “This moment that we will take today is one of reflection.”

Everything was ready for the hike to begin, however, one last thing needed to be on the minds of every participant in the hike. Dr. King’s infamous “I Have a Dream” speech played from the speakers. The speech’s powerful message reminded everyone why Dr. King is an important figure in American history.

After the hike, Marines and sailors were given the opportunity to present an item that is attached to the philosophy that Dr. King had.

Cpl. Luis Valencia, an administration chief with H&S BN, MCIPAC, was the first to stand up and present his item. Valencia showed all participants a photo of him with his husband as he believes without Dr. King’s influence on American society; he would not be able to openly express his disposition.

“Hearing that speech before the battalion hike really brought it back home,” said Valencia. “It made me realize that we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for people like him.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the most visible spokesman and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1968 up until his assassination in 1968. King pushed for the advancement of civil rights through nonviolent protests and public disobedience.

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