A Marine from Virginia is running his sixth marathon Sunday in honor of Marines and sailors killed when he was deployed.
Cpl. Bart Skiba of Arlington doesn’t consider himself a runner.
“A friend of mine challenged me to do it,” he said. “I decided to do it, and over the years, I’ve decided to run each marathon to honor the Marines and sailors that got killed on the deployments I went on.”
He wears a shirt bearing the names of 25 Marines and sailors killed in action during tours in Iraq.
This year, he is running the Marine Corps Marathon for Pfc. Enrique Sanchez, remembered for his heroics June 8, 2006.
“His actions that day show kind of show you what type of Marine he was,” Skiba said.
Sanchez was a turret gunner on a four-vehicle patrol in Ramadi when his platoon was ambushed.
A grenade exploded beneath Sanchez’s Humvee, and his legs caught fire, but he continued manning his machine gun, providing cover for the rest of the Marines to escape the ambush.
“He received second-degree burns all over his legs, at which point he was able to jump out of the truck kind of last minute as the ammunition started exploding,” Skiba said. “So he put himself on the line when he could’ve been easily killed or severally injured to make sure that his marines are safely pulled out.”
Sanchez was killed in action a couple of weeks later and posthumously awarded a Bronze Star.
Skiba will honor him Sunday.
“It just kind of helps keep the memory alive, especially for the guys that served with him,” he said. “You know it brings hopefully somewhat of a pleasant closure that he’s not forgotten.”