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    10th Mountain Soldiers Honor Legendary WWII Predecessors by Skiing 24 Miles in Their Tracks

    10th Mountain Soldiers Honor Legendary WWII Predecessors by Skiing 24 Miles in Their Tracks

    Eight decades after 10th Mountain Division soldiers trained at Colorado's historic Hale for combat in World War II, Staff Sgt. Cam Daniels stood on a snow-covered mountainside west of Vail Pass and reflected on the legend they created in the rugged but picturesque landscape between Leadville and Vail.

    One of them was his great-grandfather, Wayne Peters, who was killed while fighting German forces in northern Italy in the final weeks of the war.

    “Very emotional,” Daniels said, five hours into a 15-hour backcountry ski tour he and nine other soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division — now based at Fort Drum in western York — undertook last week to honor their World War II predecessors.

    They would ski from Camp Hale to Vail to commemorate the arduous D Series exercises that unfolded there over three weeks in 1944. D Series was, in effect, the 10th's final exam before they fought in Italy's Apennine Mountains. Peters was one of 975 10th Mountain soldiers killed in Italy.

    “This has just been an absolute honor to be here,” Daniels said at the foot of Shrine Mountain, taking a break during the 24-mile “Hale to Vail” journey. “Just to be able to continue not only the 10th Mountain Division's legacy — why we're all here — but a really special moment for me to continue my great-grandfather's legacy; kind of follow in his footsteps. Maybe hook onto the same pitons that he did here at Camp Hale,…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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