Military group to run 150 miles in honor of fallen Michigan marine

Lance Cpl. Justin Ellsworth killed in 2004

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From November 9 - 11, a group of active-duty and former U.S. Marines will be joined by several teams of relay and solo runners to run 150 miles, from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron, in honor of their fallen Marine Brother Lance Corporal Justin Mark Ellsworth and to raise funds for Military Families United of Michigan.

Justin Ellsworth was a 2003 graduate of Mt. Pleasant High School. He joined the Marines and became a Combat Engineer. On Nov. 13, 2004, while attached to a Recon unit, Justin discovered and shielded 15 of his fellow Marines from the blast of an I.E.D. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for his sacrifice.

Military Families United is a national coalition of Gold Star and Blue Star families, veterans and patriotic Americans whose mission is to Honor the Fallen, Support Those Who Fight, and Serve Their Families.

Several U.S. Marines and relay runners will begin a 150 mile journey from Lake Michigan at Benona Township Park at 12:00pm on November 9th and run through the day and night, over 40 hours, until they reach Lake Huron on Monday morning at sunrise. The course will run through the towns of White Cloud, Mt. Pleasant, Midland and Bay City. A brief ceremony will take place at Island Park on November 10th at 1:00pm with the runners at the Lance Corporal Ellsworth Memorial. Island Park will be the site of our weekend long Veterans Day celebration which is free and features live music, games and family fun.

After the Marines of Always Brothers finished their inaugural run in August 2011, they decided to continue their work and keep the memory of their friend and fallen comrade Captain Tyler B. Swisher – KIA 21OCT05, of Mariemont, Ohio, and so many others alive. The mission of Always Brothers, to serve Veterans and their families with honor and integrity, will be upheld again this year as it was last. To learn more about Always Brothers or donate to the cause, please visit us online at

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