Marine Corps To Dedicate 17.75K Race To Fallen Vet Ashley Guindon

The Marine Corps Times reports the United States Marine Corps will dedicate the 2016 Marine Corps 17.75-kilometer race to fallen vet Ashley Guindon, the Prince William County police officer who was gunned down on February 27 during her first shift on the job. Guindon was a Marine Corps vet who had only recently left the Corps.

The event will be held on April 2 in Manassas, Virginia.

According to Prince William County police spokesman Jonathan Perok, officers were called to the scene of a “verbal argument” in Woodbridge, Virginia. Upon arriving at the home, the officers were made aware that a male and female were inside and that the male was armed. Neighbors had reportedly heard gunshots a short time prior.

Soon after, the male opened fire on the officers, hitting three — including Guindon. Two of the officers lived, but Ashley died as a result of her injuries. The suspect, Army Staff Sergeant Ronald Hamilton, later surrendered to police at his home.

After searching the dwelling, officers found another deceased female who was later identified as Hamilton’s wife, Crystal. The couple’s 10-year-old son was also in the home at the time of the incident, but he was unharmed and released into the custody of family.

The other two officers involved in the shooting, eight-year vet Jesse Hempen and 10-year vet David McKeown, are reportedly “recovering well,” according to the Prince William County Police Department.

The 17.75-kilometer race gets its distance from the year the Marine Corps was founded in 1775. The participants who complete the race are automatically granted a spot in the Marine Corps Marathon.

A spokeswoman for the Marine Corps 17.75K, Tami Faram, told the Marine Corps Times that the decision to honor Ashley was an easy one.

“Truly, it just made sense,” she said.

Guindon joined the Marine Corps in 2007 and was a member of the 4th Marine Logistics Group as a radio field operator and personnel retrieval and processing specialist.

She remained in the Marine Corps reserves until 2015, when she decided to join the Prince William County police force where she had interned previously in 2011. Ashley was a corporal in the Marine Corps reserves and was assigned to Bolling Air Force Base. She was tasked with the difficult job of sending home the remains of fallen Marines.

The Prince William County Police Department, firefighters, and rescue personnel will be represented during the event, with the police officers wearing T-shirts dedicated to four of their fallen heroes — Officers Chris Yung, Mike Pennington, Paul T. White Jr., and Guindon.

The final farewell for the Marine Corps vet occurred Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts, as she was laid to rest next to her father, who committed suicide after returning from Iraq as a member of the New Hampshire Air National Guard. Over 1,000 police officers from across the country attended the funeral to honor their fallen Marine Corps sister.

“Well obviously you never want to go to any of these, but you want to be out here to show respect and honor her and other law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty, not only this year but in years past,” said Nashua Police Capt. David Bailey.

“If someone knew the officer or the family, we would love to hear from them,” she said, advising parties to contact the Prince William County Police Department’s public information officer at 703-792-5123 or JPerok@pwcgov.org.

The race will feature Guindon’s friends, family, and colleagues, who will be making the 11.03-mile trek from Manassas to Prince William Forest Park. The details for the Marine Corps 17.75K can be found at MarineMarathon.com.

[Photo by Jose Luis Magana/AP Images]