Soldier in viral video says comrades' cheers inspired her

Soldier in viral video says comrades' cheers inspired her
Published: May. 8, 2015 at 2:25 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2015 at 3:52 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The final, grueling moments of an exhausted Fort Knox soldier's 12-mile road march at Fort Dix, NJ is inspiring people across the country because of the soldier's determination in the face of adversity.

"What good soldier doesn't like a challenge?" U.S. Army Captain Sarah Cudd, 29, of Tomball, TX asked.

A video posted on YouTube of Cudd pushing herself to finish the challenge has gotten more than 1 million views.

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"When I watch that video, you know, I cringe and I just see me so close to failure," she said Thursday.

After 2 hours and 45 minutes, her knees buckled and Cudd fell to the ground.

"We all have those moments whether it's a physical moment, or emotional moment where you just, you just want to quit," she said.

But she didn't quit, instead she found the strength to get back up.

The march came on April 27 - day 11 of a challenge less than 20 percent of soldiers complete. The first five days, the soldiers are trained and tested. The next five days, they are part of hands on tasks in the field. Then comes the march, which soldiers must complete in three hours or less.

Cudd, who is 5'10'' tall and weighs 135 pounds, said during the challenge her legs felt like Jello and she felt like her back was going to give out.

"The second time I fell I could see the finish line and I, I wasn't going to let it go," she said.

She heard her fellow soldiers cheering. They never gave up on her.

"They were looking out for me. They were pushing me on," she said.

Cudd is convinced they were her inspiration.

"You don't see that every day, people cheering for another person and just, just wanting them to succeed," she said.

The cheers grew louder with each step. Cudd said she took a deep breath and marched on. She was one of 46 who made it, 230 tried, the Army said in a release.

"Don't give up. Attempt those things that make you a little uncomfortable 'cause those things are what's going to make you stronger as a person and really help you grow," she said.

Cudd has been in the Army for five years. She is assigned to Fort Knox, but is currently serving at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, OH.

The challenge is voluntary. For completing it Cudd earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, one the most coveted honors in Army medicine, and a few days at home.

Cudd said it was her first time attempting the challenge.

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