Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 85th Mountain Infantry Regiment, Warrior Transition Battalion, 10th Mountain Division participated in sled hockey for morning physical training on Jan. 13th, 2020 at Watertown Municipal Arena, Watertown, N.Y.
The participating Soldiers are wounded, ill or injured, and are transitioning into veteran status or returning to duty.
The purpose of the event was to provide a fun and unique experience that fits into the culture of the north-country, said Lt. Col. Robert Venton, commander, 3rd Bn., 85th Mountain Inf. Reg.
"It's an opportunity to get the Soldiers to try something new and different," said Venton. "This is the north country, so we were trying to think of something that Soldiers could do in the winter when there isn't as much to do outside because of the cold. We decided to give sled hockey a try."
During the PT event, Soldiers rode on hockey sleds and practiced weaving in and out of cones, passing a hockey puck to one another, shooting the puck into nets, and concluded with a friendly scrimmage.
The Division command team, Maj. Gen. Brian J. Mennes, and Command Sgt. Maj. Samual J. Roark also participated in the event which helped boost morale, said Sgt. 1st Class Teo Garcia, an infantryman with the WTB.
"The event showed a great culture amongst the leadership and Soldiers, and this really motivated us," said Garcia. "To see the leadership and the division sergeant major, and commander out there promoting this culture made it even better. It was great."
Although the event was exciting and fun, Pfc. Jose Torres, an infantryman with the unit said it also provided an intense and rewarding workout.
"My favorite part of PT was sliding on the ice because I've never really skated before," said Torres. "It was enjoyable but harder than I was expecting and exhausting. I can't believe people do this every week"