A group of Wichita students has some unusual plans for spring break. Instead of partying, goofing off or playing video games, they plan a long march to honor soldiers from decades ago.
"First thing I heard was Bataan Death March re-enactment, first thing I said was when can I go?" Quite a response from a teenager, considering the event took place more than 70 years ago.
It was 1942 when U-S and Filipino soldiers surrendered to Japanese forces after the battle of Bataan. Thousands of them were forced to march 63 miles to a prisoner of war camp under horrible conditions.
"If you stopped, the Japanese would basically just kill you. You weren't allowed to stop, you weren't allowed to eat," said high school student Quentin Dively. Because of the hardship, seven to ten thousand of the prisoners didn't survive.
Quenton is one of four West High School Junior ROTC cadets who will be in New Mexico next week for a Bataan Death March memorial. They'll march he length of a marathon, just over 26miles.
History will come alive even more because some of the actual death march survivors will be on hand.
"And to first hand hear their accounts and to talk to these gentlemen to me was extremely moving experience and I would hope the kids get something out of that as well," said Lieutenant Colonel Roy Yenchesky.
"I think that my generation doesn't really understand what happened to the soldiers back then and what hardships. They just play Call of Duty and they think, 'oh, we can do that it looks like so much fun.' War is a treacherous thing and people need to know about it," said Cadet Antonio Banuelos.
The West students have been training for the march since October. Originally there were 20 signed up, now just four are left.