Warrior Adventure Quest helps Soldiers make the transition home
August 13, 2012
Sometimes it is difficult for Soldiers returning from the intense action they may have experienced downrange to the calm and quiet of home.
This is true for some Soldiers from 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division as they make the transition from a long deployment to garrison.
The Warrior Adventure Quest, coordinated through the Outdoor Recreation Center, is helping them make that transition.
The program combines sporting activities with other tools to teach Soldiers coping skills for managing stress, with the hope of decreasing high-risk behavior, injuries or perhaps even death following redeployment.
"Warrior Adventure Quest is a resiliency program," said Lara Patterson, manager of the ORC. "It uses recreational activities as a vehicle to assist in reintegration after deployment and block leave to re-develop unit cohesion and esprit de corps and promotes recreational activities as a way to cope with stress."
Patterson said activities available at Fort Wainwright include skeet-shooting, archery, speed ball, mountain-biking and paddling. These are all activities in which Soldiers can engage in the local area with their own equipment or equipment they can rent from Outdoor Recreation. She said that their intention was to introduce Soldiers to new opportunities and skills while taking away the excuse of "there's nothing to do here."
WAQ is a healthy outlet for relieving post deployment stress, said Emmy O'Leary, ORC intern, who helps out with the program.
It also shows the Soldiers what ORC has to offer, she said.
Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 1-25th SBCT recently spent a day enjoying activities such skeet-shooting, paintball, and paddling canoes on the river. Everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Spc. Robert Parker, 3-21st, 1-25th SBCT said he found the redeployment to Fort Wainwright a bit difficult but spending time with those he deployed with helps.
"WAQ is a good way to get together with the guys and blow off a little steam from the deployment" he said.
Returning to garrison was a "little weird at first, " said Spc. Steven Jackson, 3-21st, 1-25th SBCT, but as time goes on, he is finding it a little easier. Getting out and doing activities with his coworkers, such as those offered as part of WAQ helps.
"It is nice to just get out and relax a little bit, have a fun day," Jackson said.
"It was an awesome experience" said Pvt. Allen Romero, 3-21st, 1-25th SBCT who had never shot skeet or used a bow and arrow before WAQ. He said that now that he knows what the Outdoor Recreation Center offers, he will be a repeat customer.
Spc. Kyle Crow, 3-21st, 1-25th SBCT, had been medically evacuated early in the unit's deployment. He was appreciating the fact that he got to spend time with his friends and co-workers.
"It's fun," he said. "I am enjoying it."
I hope to get Soldiers will get involved with recreational activities, Patterson said.
"The benefits received from it can be the positive difference in a Soldier's quality of life and overall physical and mental well being."