• (from left to right) Fort Irwin/National Training Center Commanding General Brig. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, Blake Hales, KJ Welcher, Thomas Hales, and Fort Irwin Garrison Commander Col. Jim Chevallier cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the Sidewinder Skate Park at Fort Irwin, Calif. on Aug. 26, 2009.

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    (from left to right) Fort Irwin/National Training Center Commanding General Brig. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams, Blake Hales, KJ Welcher, Thomas Hales, and Fort Irwin Garrison Commander Col. Jim Chevallier cut the ribbon at the grand opening of the...

  • Skateboarders christen the Sidewinder Skate Park at Fort Irwin, Calif. on Aug. 26, 2009 after the official ribbon cutting for the latest addition to the Fort Irwin community.

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    Skateboarders christen the Sidewinder Skate Park at Fort Irwin, Calif. on Aug. 26, 2009 after the official ribbon cutting for the latest addition to the Fort Irwin community.

  • Skateboarders take the oath of safety administered by Fort Irwin/National Training Center Commanding General Brig. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams prior to the Sidewinder Skate Park's grand opening on Aug. 26 at Fort Irwin, Calif.

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    Skateboarders take the oath of safety administered by Fort Irwin/National Training Center Commanding General Brig. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams prior to the Sidewinder Skate Park's grand opening on Aug. 26 at Fort Irwin, Calif.

Before the first flipside nose grind, ollie and backside 180 were performed at the Sidewinder Skate Park at Fort Irwin, Calif. on Wednesday afternoon, Fort Irwin/National Training Center Commanding General Brig. Gen. Robert "Abe" Abrams made every skater take an oath.
"I, state your full name, do swear that every time I go to the Fort Irwin skate park, I will wear my helmet," Brig. Gen. Abrams said as 11-year-old Jordan Cook stood nervously at his side wearing his helmet and long shorts with his skateboard in hand. "I will always have my chin strap buckled."
Skaters will always treat other skateboarders with dignity and respect and respect them for their skills, he continued, as he exhorted them to look out for other skateboarders.
Brig. Gen. Abrams also made the skateboarders swear to take the appropriate action when they see others not wearing the correct safety gear or treating others with dignity and respect.
"I will do the right thing and ask them to leave the skate park. So help me God," Brig. Gen. Abrams said as he completed administering the oath of safety for the newly remodeled skate park.
Before taking the oath, 11-year-old Thomas Hales, who was one of three children, who won the naming contest for the skate park, said he always wears his helmet when riding his skateboard.
"I usually get my homework done first and then come out and skate," Hales said as he prepared to ride on one of the many new features at the skate park, which has benches, rails, steps and a halfpipe for skateboarders to test their skills.
When asked how he came up with the name for the skatepark, Hales was quick to credit his mother , Kim Hales, for helping out.
"I came up with something, then she came up with something better," he said.
Another one of the winners, 11-year-old KJ Welcher, said just wanted to come up with a cool name for the new park.
"I wanted to come up with something deserty and cool, but not a cactus park," Welcher said.
The new park is the result of a community effort that required a lot of work by everyone involved, Fort Irwin Garrison Commander Col. Jim Chevallier said, noting that the park was funded by Fort Irwin recycling dollars as part of the post-wide recycling effort, which generates funding for community projects through recycling.
"We're not done yet," Col. Chevallier said. "We are going to continue to make Fort Irwin as great a place to live as it is to train."
While the skate park was ready for skateboarders to test their skills, the project isn't finished yet as additional sidewalks and trees and a fence will be added to the park over the course of the next four months.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16