Deployed warriors sweat to support Wounded Warriors
November 26, 2010
- Soldiers of the Raider Brigade put themselves through athletic pain to support wounded warriors
<b>BAGHDAD</b> - What type of workout incorporates dead-lifts, burpies in the sand and a 3.5-mile run, to be completed as fast as possible'
The type that sucks.
That was the point, according to the 'Raider Brigade Supports the Wounded Warrior Project Workout/Run' event coordinator Capt. Jeffrey Luffman, medical planner for 1st Advise and Assist Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, and a native of Grant City, Ill.
"This workout was designed to suck," he explained. "It is important to remember the hardships our Wounded Warriors go through every day, so if we can make one workout painful, it is worth it."
For Soldiers and civilians on Victory Base Complex, supporting the Wounded Warrior Project, a program designed to provide support to servicemembers injured during combat, was a good reason to put themselves through the pain.
"A lot of Soldiers have been wounded here in Iraq and Afghanistan and can't do these physical activities," said 1st Sgt. Roy Dyer, the first sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st AAB, 3rd ID, and a native of Knoxville, Tenn. "I just feel that as long as I can do my part, I want to support them."
The desire to support Wounded Warriors was felt throughout the participants, whether they were current servicemembers or not.
"Our company is a private security company, so we, too, have ex-military guys who were wounded in action supporting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers," explained Andy Ward, the theatre-wide coordinator for reconstruction liaison teams with Aegis Defense, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and a native of Nottingham, England. "Anything that is affiliated to the Wounded Warriors, we will always participate in, where ever we can."
The workout itself also added some of the appeal.
"CrossFit is something I have been involved in for about a year now," said Ward. "The events are really good, it's a good atmosphere here, and everybody competes quite hard."
The real motivation came from the cause, though.
"People put a bit more effort in since they know it is for a good cause," continued Ward. "Rather than slack off like you normally would, I think you just push yourself that little bit harder."
This was the second CrossFit charity competition 1st AAB has hosted here in Iraq.
The first, "Amazing Grace, Barbells for Boobs," was in support of breast cancer awareness, and raised approximately $2,200.
Now that the Raider Brigade has begun to focus on supporting the WWP, Luffman wants to organize many different types of charities to get Soldiers involved and hit their goal of raising $10,000.
So far, the brigade has $1,000 raised towards that goal.
"I want to do whatever gets Soldiers involved," he said. "I got the recommendation to integrate the Wounded Warrior Project into the brigade's motorcycle mentor rides from one of the Soldiers on the 'Raider Brigade Supports the Wounded Warrior Project' Facebook page. It's amazing all the services the Wounded Warrior Project provides and there are even more ways to support it.
People have had golf tournaments, fishing tournaments, picnics; you name it. This event was a great start. I'd love to do [these competitions] as often as possible and it's something that could easily be done during [physical training] hours."
The participants finished the morning feeling exhausted, but content.
"[These competitions] build esprit de corps among Soldiers and civilians here and are always a good chance to give back," said 1st Sgt. Dyer.