El Dorado County DA to host fundraiser Friday to benefit injured veterans

By: Staff report
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Who: Vern Pierson and members from his office

What: Fundraising event to raise money for Operation Rebound

When:  5-7 p.m., March 8

Where:  Café Campanelle in El Dorado Hills

On March 8, District Attorney Vern Pierson, and members from his office, will be hosting a fundraising event to raise money for Operation Rebound.

Team “Swole Patrol” will present the money raised to Operation Rebound at the end of the Bataan Memorial Death March on March 17.

The fundraiser is slated for 5-7 p.m., Friday, March 8, at Café Campanelle in El Dorado Hills.

All five members of the “Swole Patrol” are current or former members of the U.S. military. Deputy DA and retired Sgt. Brandon Erickson, District Attorney Vern Pierson, DA Investigator Bill Dillard as well as cadets Sam Pierson and Nick Chung who will commission as 2nd Lieutenants in the United States Army in June of 2013.

The Bataan Memorial Death March takes place in the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The event, a full marathon, involves individuals or teams, competing in two categories: Light and Heavy. The light team requires participants, to run/walk the course, while the heavy team requires “rucking” with a 35 lb rucksack. Rucking is a combination of shuffling and long strides, due to the weight of their pack.

This event takes place annually and includes a wide variety of participants including Wounded Warriors and Active Duty Military Personnel, all of which come together in honor of the Bataan Death March that took place in the Pacific theatre during World War II. During the march, the Imperial Japanese Army forced thousands of American and Filipino soldiers to march over 80 miles following the Battle of Bataan. The march included the torture and murder of thousands of prisoners of war.

Aligned with Operation Rebound, Pierson and his team aim to raise money for permanently wounded military personnel, veterans, and first responders in order to provide them the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

This organization has a special place within the District Attorney’s Office. This is due to the military background of several of the El Dorado DA’s office employees; more specifically “Swole Patrol” team member: Brandon Erickson. Brandon suffered the loss of his right arm during a combat patrol with during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004. Operation Rebound plays a pivotal role in transitioning severely injured veterans, such as Brandon, into civilian life. Since his injuries, Brandon has participated in numerous Ironman Triathlons and will now participate in the upcoming Bataan Memorial March.

~ Staff report