KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (4/11/2012) – When soldiers die in
combat they not only leave grieving families, but also their
brothers and sisters in arms. For those brothers and
sisters, honoring their fallen comrades can manifest through
various outlets: building memorials, getting tattoos or
wearing bracelets. One soldier decided to honor the fallen
soldiers from the Warhorse brigade through motivation and
Soldiers with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, do pullups during the Warhorse Crossfit Challenge at Camp Nathan Smith, April 8. Each of the challenges: wall ball, pullups, toes-to-bar, burpee box jumps, deadlifts, tire carry and a 5K run was designed to test the competing soldier's selfless service and sacrifice in honor of the soldiers who had given the ultimate sacrifice. The brigade had 27 teams with five members each. Every team completed the full challenge. Photo by Army Sgt. Ruth Pagan
Staff Sgt. Casey McEuin, the future-operations
non-commissioned officer in charge with 2nd Brigade Combat
Team, 4th Infantry Division, organized the Warhorse Crossfit
Challenge held at Camp Nathan Smith, April 8.
have lost great soldiers and I want them to be more than a
memory,” said McEuin. “Above everything else, I wanted
people to have selfless service and sacrifice their blood,
sweat and tears for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
The challenge, designed by McEuin, consisted of five
events: 20 wall balls, 20 pullups and 10 toes-to-bar, 20
burpee box jumps, 15 deadlifts and a 200 meter tire carry
with two laps ran between each station totaling a 5K run.
Each exercise event was dedicated to fallen soldiers, whose
pictures were visible at the station as motivation for
competing soldiers to work through the physical pain.
"No matter how tired we were, seeing pictures of Josh
and Drew [two of the fallen soldiers] helped me and my team
push through,” said Capt. Ashley Russell, the officer in
charge of female engagement teams. “This was our little way
of giving back to two guys who gave up everything for us."
“I wanted [the fallen soldiers] to be the motivation to
finish each event which is what happened,” McEuin said.
“Nobody quit and nobody gave up.”
“It was my honor
to participate, not get lapped, and watch everybody finish,”
said Col. John S. Kolasheski, the brigade commander. “I
think it was a phenomenal event and I appreciate everybody's
participation and everybody's motivation, in particular
because we are honoring our fallen heroes.”
challenge was open to everyone within the brigade. Teams
consisted of five members with at least one woman. A total
of 27 teams participated from all across the brigade and one
team included an Afghan partner.
“I was proud to
have [Afghan National Security Force] partners attend to
honor our soldiers,” McEuin said. “His presence shed light
on the fact that we are sacrificing together.”
was my honor to compete and show that we are strong together
as a team,” said 2nd Sgt. Qutubullah with the 2nd Brigade
Afghan National Civil Order Police.
“I think it's
pretty exciting for all of us to come together,” said Lt.
Thomas Olmstead, a platoon leader with Company A, 1st
Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd BCT, 4th Infantry
Division, and a member of the winning team who came from the
Arghandab to compete. “We are all spread out but we were
able to make a day of it, come here to participate and
support each other.”
The event not only honored
fallen soldiers it also allowed for friendly competition
"For me, the most amazing part of the
competition was the spirit in which everyone performed,”
said Sgt. 1st Class Spencer Polwort, the fire support
non-commissioned officer in charge for the brigade. “At each
station, everyone was taking a moment to remember those who
are no longer with us, and who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
It made you even more proud to serve with these heroes, and
to push even harder."
“Every team that competed
showed nothing but motivation and teamwork,” said Sgt. Maria
Johnson, a paralegal with the brigade. “It was not a matter
of crossing the finish line first, it was a matter of
crossing the finish line together: no one gets left behind
More photos available in frame below
By Army Sgt. Ruth Pagan
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