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Capt. Tyler Swisher Memorial Scholarship

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Always Brothers Fundraiser
Capt. Tyler Swisher Memorial Scholarship

About 10 years ago on a phone conversation between two Marines, they were talking about one of our brothers who served with us as back in the 90s, became a Marine Capt. and was unfortunately killed in 2005 during Iraqi Freedom.  The Marine they were talking about was Capt. Tyler Swisher.  The two Marines (probably drinking on the call) decided lets do a 100 mile run starting from Thurmont, MD to his final resting space at Arlington National Cemetery to honor and raise money to help Tyler's kids with their college education.  This my friends would be the conversation that started Always Brothers.  As everyone knows, no one is gone forever if people still say their name.  So Always Brothers in conjunction with The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation to set up a Scholarship in Tyler's name that will ensure that the educational goals of future  generations is supported while also ensuring that Tyler’s legacy of  service and sacrifice is never forgotten.

Semper Fi,

Always Brothers

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When
Tuesday September 15th

Our Story
The Capt. Tyler Swisher Memorial Scholarship

  Tragedy and loss of life is always horrible, especially for those closest to the fallen, but on occasion that loss can serve as a catalyst for something positive. Such was the case with the founding members of Always Brothers, Marines who had served together in the 1990’s, when we reconnected with each other by way of Facebook in late 2010. As we caught up with each other about families and careers, it was discovered that one of our own, Captain Tyler Swisher, had been killed in Iraq in 2005 and was taken from his wife and three children. Tyler was leading a company of Marines from Easy Company 2d Battalion, 2d Marines near Zaidon, Iraq when he was killed by an improvised explosive device. This prompted the group to ask, “what can we do to honor him, and what can we do for his family?” And so, Always Brothers was born.  Tyler was an amazing Marine and athlete that loved to test his limits and then push beyond them. After much discussion and deliberation, it was decided that we would run 100 miles from Camp David to Tyler’s final resting place at Arlington Cemetery. The run involved a considerable amount of sweat, blisters, aching bodies, and tears, while also sharing the story of Tyler’s life and his ultimate sacrifice for our Nation. The second part of our mission was raising money to establish college funds for his three children to fill in gaps not covered by survivor benefits. Both endeavors were successful, and that 100 mile run in August of 2011 was life altering for those of us involved: the shared grief, reconnecting with each other, new connections with Tyler’s family, the sense of service to the fallen, and the sense of a greater purpose for the future. Though we had initially thought that this would be a one-time event, the tremendous support we received made us realize that we had captured lightning in a bottle and that our mission to help the children of the fallen had to go on.  Always Brothers put on several more 100 mile runs in Ohio, Michigan, and Seattle, as well as other events like a 100 inning softball game, to raise money for other children who had lost a parent in war. One of the Seattle runs coincided with Marine Week, and we were joined for many miles by General David Berger, Tyler’s former CO and now the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The largest of these runs was held over Memorial Day weekend, 2012, in Ohio where we ran 100 miles from Tyler’s home town of Mariemont, OH to Columbus, OH, the home of Lima Company. Lima Company suffered 23 KIA in 2005, and this run raised money to establish college funds for the children of those fallen. Every event has added to the number of “brothers” (and sisters) in Always Brothers, forging new bonds of love, friendship, and camaraderie. There have also been countless coincidences along the way that have shown us how interconnected we all are, and how much one life like Tyler’s impacts so many others, and leaves such a gaping hole when it is gone.   This brings us to our final chapter of Always Brothers. One final event to honor Tyler’s memory, ensure that his legacy lives on, and assist the educational goals of others well into the future. We will be embarking on one last 100 mile event in the fall of 2021, and will be raising funds to establish a permanent “Tyler Swisher Memorial Scholarship” with the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund. We will be returning to the same original course that we ran in 2011, Camp David to Arlington, to bring things full circle. No one is truly gone so long as we celebrate their life and tell their story. So that is what we will do with a little help from you, the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund, and a few old Marines.  

Posted by Kyler Soucinek