Naval Hospital Jacksonville Sailors Participate in Marine Corps Marathon Forward

Story Number: NNS171113-31Release Date: 11/13/2017 2:33:00 PM
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By Yan Kennon, Naval Hospital Jacksonville Public Affairs

QAYYARAH AIRFIELD, Iraq (NNS) -- Five Naval Hospital Jacksonville Sailors, forward deployed to Navy Expeditionary Medical Unit 2 in Iraq, participated in the 11th annual Marine Corps Marathon Forward in Iraq on Oct. 22.

The MCM Forward was established in 2006, in memory of Maj. Megan McClung, the first female U.S. Marine Corps officer killed in combat during the Iraqi War. It's the forward deployed version of the Marine Corps Marathon run each year in Washington, D.C., which was run the same day as the MCM Forward.

A total of 17 Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, and a British Royal Engineer competed in the 26.2 mile course. Sailors from NH Jacksonville included Lt. Cmdr. Benjay Kempner (anesthesiologist), Lt. Cmdr. Ellie Mentler (a general surgeon, who ran as part of a relay team), Lt. Sheree Blackwell (perioperative nurse), Lt. j.g. Thomas Bolsega (critical care nurse), and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Paul Lloyd (a respiratory therapy technologist).

EMU 2 is comprised of medical personnel from 11 hospital commands throughout the U.S., providing casualty resuscitation and surgical intervention to coalition service members and Iraqi Security Forces in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville's priority since its founding in 1941 is to heal the nation's heroes and their families. The command is comprised of the Navy's third largest hospital and five branch health clinics across Florida and Georgia. Of its patient population (163,000 active and retired sailors, soldiers, Marines, airmen, guardsmen, and their families), about 85,000 are enrolled with a primary care manager and Medical Home Port team at one of its facilities. To find out more or download the command's mobile app, visit

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Service members compete in Marine Corps Marathon in Iraq
QAYYARAH AIRFIELD, Iraq " A Sailor runs the Marine Corps Marathon Forward in Iraq, Oct. 22, 2017. The forward deployed version of the Marine Corps Marathon was started by Maj. Megan McClung, who was the first female United States Marine Corps officer killed in combat during the Iraq War. McClung was serving as a public affairs officer in Al Anbar Province, Iraq when she was killed. Marines in deployed locations continue to run the marathon in her memory. The service members who competed in the race are deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Paulo Hernandez)
October 27, 2017
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