An Arlington man is part of a group of Marines that plans to read the names of every member of the military who has died in every war the United States has been involved in.
Brandon Blackstone is used to being on a mission. He was deployed to Iraq as a member of the 1st Battalion 7th Marines in 2004, and he almost lost his life. "I was blown up while I was there and had to be med-evac'd home," he said.
According to his bio on The Fight Continues' website, Blackstone's unit was deployed to Husayba, Iraq, in August 2004. Several months later, his Humvee struck a double-stacked anti-tank mine, and he sustained extensive injuries.
Blackstone underwent several surgeries. He said he still suffers from seizures and post-traumatic stress disorder.
While thinking about how close he came to death, he started to think about how many other Americans had actually lost their lives in the battlefield, Blackstone said. He created The Fight Continues with the help of other Marines.
"We want to go back all the way from colonial wars to present day -- something that, after doing research, has never been done before," he said.
The group plans on dividing 1 million names between 600 locations around the country. Blackstone and his team are looking to churches, colleges, high schools and organizations that can help with the readings.
Blackstone admitted it won't be easy but, he said, neither are the sacrifices of America's heroes.
"We still have troops over there," he said. "We still have them coming back every day, wounded, hurt or they come back, unfortunately in a box. Here at The Fight Continues, we want to honor every serviceman and woman who has fought for our country."
Published at 11:55 AM CDT on Nov 1, 2013