'Maintainers' resupplied with teamwork through Warrior Adventure Quest
September 30, 2011
FORT STEWART, Ga. - With a target in sight, Sgt. Isaac D. Thomas left the confines of cover and concealment to low-crawl closer to his objective.
The Valdosta, Ga., native and motor transport operator assigned to Company A, 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, put his face in the dirt and leaves that littered the forest floor and began his tactical movement, cradling his paintball gun to ensure it remained free of debris.
Once Sgt. Thomas arrived at his intended destination, he brought the weapon up, aimed and fired.
While there was no clear winner in the force-on-force paintball game, Sgt. Thomas participated with members of Co. A. The Soldiers participating in Warrior Adventure Quest training, Sept. 20, at the Holbrook Pond Recreation Area on Fort Stewart, walked away with smiles on their faces.
Warrior Adventure Quest, a reintegration training program that has been offered at installations Army-wide since early 2009, is designed to introduce Soldiers to high-adrenaline activities that are available at their duty station with the intent of encouraging Soldiers to replace off-duty risky behaviors with safer alternatives.
The program also incorporates components of resiliency training, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, combat operational stress control, post-traumatic growth and coping skills to complement existing reintegration training that Soldiers receive.
Company A Soldiers' training included facing off on the paintball field, racing kayaks across Holbrook pond, and negotiating team-building obstacles.
Jerry W. Duncan II, an employee with the post's Morale, Welfare and Recreation department, and a Warrior Adventure Quest facilitator, said that participating in the high-adrenaline activities available on Fort Stewart helps Soldiers blow off steam and get back some of the adrenaline they might miss from living and working in a combat zone.
As a member of a gun truck team while deployed, Spc. Zac P. Laramore said he and his battle buddies were responsible for ensuring each 150-mile resupply mission through Iraq was successful.
The Bonne Terre, Mo., native and motor transport operator, said working outside the wire was exciting and that he loved every minute of it. He did admit, however, that the missions could be stressful because of the unknown.
Specialist Laramore said that participating in Warrior Adventure Quest was a beneficial part in readapting to slower-paced garrison life.
"It definitely gives everybody a chance to unwind after going through reset and doing all of the basic [things] that need to be done when you come back," he said. "It's a nice time to relax with friends."
Sergeant Maurice Boozer Sr., a Columbia, S.C., native and a petroleum supply specialist with Company A, said it's difficult for many Soldiers to reintegrate after spending a year on "high alert."
Sergeant Boozer said his deployment adrenaline was fed every two days by serving as a truck commander in the lead gun truck for the unit's resupply convoys between Al Asad Air Base and Camp Ramadi, Iraq. The petroleum supply specialist said that he and his Soldiers had to be on "high alert" each and every mission to prepare them to handle any trouble that came down the pike.
Sergeant Boozer said that events like Warrior Adventure Quest brings redeployment--and readapting to normal life--full circle, and promotes unit cohesion.
Company A 1st Sgt. Devona A. Klein, a Charleston, S.C., native, said that Warrior Adventure Quest training brought out the best in her Soldiers as they participated in good-natured competitions during the various activities.
"[We have] a lot of new Soldiers in our company and [we have] a lot of old Soldiers that deployed [and] this … puts the platoon together," said 1st Sgt. Klein. "It's a great feeling of teamwork."