The Mogadishu Mile: Keeping the Memory of Lost Army Rangers Alive

The Mogadishu Mile: Keeping the Memory of Lost Army Rangers Alive
Photo courtesy of the Three Rangers Foundation

A virtual event honoring the Army Rangers lost during the Battle of Mogadishu allows individuals and teams from across the country to show their support and pay homage to a part of their story of honor and sacrifice.

From now through Oct. 4, participants in the virtual Mogadishu Mile, or Mog Mile, pledge to remember these soldiers with a 1-mile walk, a 5-kilometer run, a suggested workout, or even just a cup of coffee with a friend. The process begins with ordering a T-shirt; proceeds from the event directly support active duty and former Rangers, Gold Star Families, and veterans.

“As long as you remember, you keep them alive in your heart, what they did, and what they stood for,” said Gail Joyce, a MOAA board member whose son, Sgt. James Casey Joyce, died Oct. 3, 1993, after being shot in the back by a Somali militiaman. “It's not just that I want people to remember Casey, I have enough people that do that. It is that I want them to remember what he, and all the rangers, represented.”

[LEARN MORE: Gail Joyce on the Gold Star]

Casey Joyce and 17 other soldiers died in the 18-hour fight. The virtual Mog Mile, sponsored by the Three Rangers Foundation, commemorates the mile-long running gun battle on Somalian streets as the final Ranger element departed the city.

“People die twice,” said MOAA member Col. Steven Berry, a retired Army chaplain and the Spiritual Fitness Director at the Three Rangers Foundation. “Once when their physical body expires, and they die the second time when no one speaks their name anymore. … We don’t want those boys to be forgotten. We call their names frequently. Uncommon valor was common virtue on that day.”

For Gail Joyce, this year will be special. As others run the Mog Mile in the Rangers’ memory, her son Casey will be posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his valor in combat.

For more information on how to participate and honor those who fought in the Battle of Mogadishu, visit the Three Rangers website.

About the Author

Amber Monks
Amber Monks

Monks is a digital content specialist at MOAA. She started at MOAA in 2018 as a member service representative, with a focus on communications.