The Marine Corps Times reported that Micah Herndon, 31, deployed to Marjah, Afghanistan in 2010 with the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines (aka “Lava Dogs”). Monday’s Boston Marathon revealed that Micah was going to honor his fallen friends no matter what. When he began to experience severe leg cramps, he fell to the ground and crawled across the finish line.
Micah is no stranger to difficulties. During his deployment, his unit struck three IEDs. The first one killed his friends Mark Juarez and Matthew Ballard, and a British journalist Rupert Hamer. They are the men he honors as he runs.
The second IED during his deployment didn’t go off because of a blasting cap that malfunctioned.
The third IED ripped through his armor plated MRAP and pitched him out of the gunner’s turret, and slammed his head back onto the vehicle, knocking him unconscious. He did survive, others did not. “Doc Gibson” brought music that soothed Herndon as the doc checked for vitals. Micah was going to survive, and still had all his limbs.
“I honestly do not know why or how, but the song ‘In the Arms of an Angel’ by Sarah McLachlan came on. I still can’t believe it. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. It was a mixture of crying and laughing at the same time, knowing I had just survived something that was set out to kill me.” Micah Herndon
But that survival also brought with it what is known as “survivor’s guilt.”
“Survivor’s guilt, it’s real. I definitely have it because I was the lead machine-gunner on that convoy and I didn’t see that bomb that was buried. I live with that every day.”
Herndon to The Washington Post.
Coming home was a struggle, as it often is for combat veterans. But Micah has been training and running, gradually increasing his distance along the way. It’s been a life-saver for him.
“I went from being in a war zone one day to trying to live a normal life the next day. We were going on three or more missions a day, constantly on guard and when I got back home, I was still in that mode. I never will be able to get over it, I don’t think, but I am coping. I am trying to get rid of the demons.” Micah Herndon to the Record-Courier
On Monday, he ran the Boston Marathon in honor of his three friends. He wore their names affixed to the laces of his shoes. He finished the race in 3 hours 38 minutes, even though he had to crawl across the finish line.
“There’s a reason why I’m here. I’m just trying to find out what that reason is for.” Herndon
Micah Herndon, a former Marine who survived an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2010, collapsed and crawled to the finish at the Boston Marathon.— ESPN (@espn) April 16, 2019
He says he now runs in honor of the three Marines who were lost in the ambush. (via @dana_gio6) pic.twitter.com/WfIj3OpR1h
Semper Fi, Micah Herndon, you are not alone.