Whidbey Island Race Remembers Iraq’s First Fallen Female Marine Officer

By Jessica Robinson | KUOW | KUOW.org | August 12, 2011

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A 5K and 10K foot race on Saturday at the Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island will honor the first female Marine officer killed in combat in the Iraq War. Simultaneously, Marines stationed in Afghanistan will participate in a race honoring their fallen comrade.

Major Megan McClung was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq’s Al Anbar Province in 2006.

This is the fifth year runners will honor her with a memorial race. It’s organized by McClung’s parents of Coupeville, Wash. Her father, Michael McClung, is a retired Marine himself.

“Megan was a triathlete,” he says. “She did not believe you could be a whole person without keeping your mind, body and spirit active and alive.”

A wall in the McClung’s house is still lined with the running and cycling medals Megan won during her 34-year life. Michael McClung says he takes comfort from seeing several hundred runners come out because it tells him his daughter isn’t forgotten.

Saturday’s races will benefit the Semper Fi Fund, which assists injured service-members and their families.

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