SUMMERS COUNTY, WV (WVNS) – Veterans gathered at Bluestone State Park on Saturday, September 24, 2022, to honor a Summers County marine who was killed in action in 1983.

It was a beautiful day for a Ruck. That’s what marines call a hike, named for the heavy rucksack they carry on their backs.

On the ruck, marines, soldiers, and civilians alike all honored the memory of Mecot Camara, a marine who was killed in action while serving in Beirut Lebanon in the 1980s.

Camara was a Summers County native, and the event in his honor was organized by his sister Elisa.

“He grew up right here in Summers County. Right here at this park, actually, Bluestone State park. We frequented it a lot as children. And he loved growing up here, he loved playing football, hunting, fishing,” said Elisa Camara.

The event helped to raise support for an upcoming documentary about the Marines who served in Beirut called “We Came in Peace,” as well as raising money for the foundation Elisa started in her brother Mecot’s memory.

“We also wanted to help American Brother Foundation, a non-profit that I started in honor of my brother. We help veterans in need, and we provide scholarships for military families,” said Camara.

The first-ever Mecot Camara memorial Ruck was a smashing success, and the great turnout from both military, and non-military personnel alike meant a lot to Mecot’s family.

“You can’t see it now, but I’ve got goosebumps,” said Mecot’s nephew Sam Rock. “It’s so cool seeing the support, and the local community all come together in one.”

“My brother, he did pass,” said Elisa Camara. “But as I got to know the marines that are here today, the Beirut brothers that served with him, they have been so kind, extending their brotherhood to me as a Gold Star little sister. And they said ‘you lost your brother in the bombing, but you gained a platoon and then some of brothers that will always be here.”

The Ruck finished at Pipestem State Park, where ruck finishers were greeted with drinks, snacks, and a karaoke party.