Mansfield, Texas


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As they strolled through downtown Mansfield shortly before noon March 13, retired Maj. Gen. Will Latham (’49 ), left, and retired Col. Joel Ward (’62 ) flashed back to a similar trek they made 50 years earlier.

In 1960 Latham, then a captain and assistant professor of military science and tactics at Arlington State College (now UT Arlington), led Ward and a handful of other cadets on a 126-mile march from campus to Killeen’s Fort Hood. Dubbed the Long March, the journey served as a motivational tool and source of inspiration for the two-year college cadets who were transitioning to a four-year institution.

Instead of heading to the beach or ski slopes, more than 40 UT Arlington ROTC cadets embarked on the same journey during spring break 2010 to commemorate the accomplishment of their predecessors. Latham and Ward marched part of the way to show their support. “Soldiers are encouraged to think, ‘You can always die, but you can never quit,’ ” Latham says. “These cadets are becoming those soldiers.”

The group reached its destination March 17.

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