173D Ride to Recovery

2023 marks the 20th Anniversary of the 173D Airborne Brigade’s Combat Parachute Assault into Northern Iraq. It also marks the 60th Anniversary of the 173D Airborne Brigade being assigned to the Regular Army. In recognition of our fallen brothers and sisters and to honor their sacrifice, we the Combat Veterans of the 173D Airborne Brigade will begin a 500-mile journey Northbound on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). This journey will begin 30 April 2023 at the Southern terminus located at the U.S. – Mexico border near Campo, California. Why do this? First and foremost, this is an event for veterans to heal, for us to come together and help move forward in our recovery. Second, this is an event to raise awareness of the plight that many veterans face daily and finally, we seek to raise funds for the 173D Airborne Brigade Association and the 173D Airborne Brigade Foundation. Both these organizations support our veterans through their Gold Star Programs and Scholarship Programs. You can read more about our organization at www.skysoldier.net.
On 26 March 1963, the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate) was assigned to the Regular Army.  Two years later it would become the first major ground combat unit in Vietnam. The 173D Airborne Brigade would spend the next six years fighting in Vietnam.  The Brigade participated in some of the most intense battles of the war. Sky Soldiers serving in Vietnam would be awarded 13 Medals of Honor, 32 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1,736 Silver Stars and more than 6,000 Purple Hearts. Sadly, 1,533 Sky Soldiers are memorialized on The Wall in Washington DC. 

On 26 March 2003, 954 soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade conducted a Combat Parachute Assault onto Bashur Airfield in Northern Iraq, effectively opening the Northern front of the war. Like the Sky Soldiers of generations past, this was done with enormous effort and sacrifice - it was the start of five years of intensive combat. Sky Soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan would be awarded 3 Medals of Honor, and more than 1200 Purple Hearts in some of the most pivotal battles of Operation Enduring Freedom. 85 Sky Soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our Nation.

The PCT is an extremely demanding trail that runs from Mexico to Canada – the only way to overcome a challenge like this is to possess the intestinal fortitude and perseverance inherent in every Sky Soldier, past and present.  Our journey will be undertaken on horseback covering a distance of 20-30 miles per day, dependent upon weather, resupply, and trail conditions.  We also encourage hikers to participate; at distances they choose.  Support volunteers are going to be needed throughout the event, to include drivers, medical support, veterinarian support, campsite volunteers, and training facilities to name a few.

If you would like more information or are interested in participating, please contact us at vp@skysoldier.net or [email redacted] we look forward to sharing this journey with all of you.  You can also follow us on Instagram 173ridetorecovery, and Facebook Group Page 173D Ride to Recovery


Frank Marcantonio,   VP 173D Airborne Association 

Donations (59)

  • Anonymous
    • $200 
    • 5 mos
  • Daniel Galvin
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
  • Maria Castro
    • $50 
    • 7 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Bob & Sally Minton
    • $50 
    • 7 mos

Fundraising team (3)

Frank Marcantonio
Raised $8,991 from 36 donations
Willow Springs, MO
173rd Association Treasurer David Williams
Shay Howard
Team member
Raised $173 from 1 donation
This team raised $3,575 from 22 other donations.

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