FORT RILEY, Kan. - The Warrior Transition Battalion's new gym, located in the clamshell building behind the WTB, is scheduled to open in January.

According to Capt. Jamekela Iles, who has been working with the project since its conception, having their own gym will offer Soldiers more than just a place to work out; it will also offer them camaraderie, which helps the healing process.

"They are able to share their experiences with each other, what they are going through, how they got there, and give each other hope and give each other advice," Iles said.

Inside, the building will have not only standard gym equipment like treadmills and free weights, but also handicapped accessible equipment. Near the free weights and cardiovascular equipment will be televisions for Soldiers to watch during their workouts.

The other half of the building will be an open area with rollaway tables and chairs. With the capability to seat 400 Soldiers, Iles said the WTB soon will be having its town hall meetings there.

Additionally, the open area can be used for physical training during inclement weather and for other meetings.

"Now they can actually work out as a battalion, as a group, and through that, camaraderie will be built. And I think it will give them the opportunity to help each other through this healing process," Iles said.

Originally from a unit on Marshall Army Airfield, the clamshell arrived at Irwin Army Community Hospital in September. Iles said there are only a few things left to do on the building, such as installing the rubberized floor, before it can be opened.

Iles said her commander asked for the building because the current WTB gym is not big enough for all the Soldiers to use at once.

The clamshell building also will be close enough to allow Soldiers the opportunity to get out of the main WTB buildings without going too far.

Additionally, WTB Soldiers will be responsible for caring for the building, which Iles said will give them a sense of ownership.

"It's theirs, and that's the way we want them to feel. That this belongs to (them)," Iles said.

Page last updated Fri December 12th, 2008 at 18:51