By Sgt. Kim Browne, CJTF-1/RC-East PAOMay 27, 2011
Some donate money to various military organizations while others gather items to send in care packages.
Yet the parents of Douglas, Wyo. native, Army Sgt. Maj. Eric Fowler, with Combined Joint Task Force-1, Regional Command-East, donated an item to help build physical strength as well as relieve mental stresses, a heavy bag.
Fowler stated that the previous bag in the Joint Operations Center gym was old, raggedy and barely hanging on by two worn straps. He emphasized that stuffing was falling out of it and he wasn't sure how long it was going to last.
"I used it one time and it was fine," he said. "Came back the next day and they had taken it down."
After waiting a couple of weeks for a fixed or new bag he contacted his family to inform them of the situation and his parents, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. (Ret.) Bob and Judy Bushong, rose to the task.
"Within a couple of days they had ordered [a heavy bag] online and a few days later it was here in the mail," Fowler said.
Volunteers mentioned that several people, who had stopped coming to the gym because of the condition and removal of the old bag, have returned to work out in the JOC gym.
"I use the bag two-to-three times a week," said Army Maj. Christopher Heatherly, an intelligence planner with CJTF-1, RC-East. "It's great for cardio and a stress reliever."
"This is the beginning of our deployment and we'll get a year's worth of enjoyment out of this bag and we will leave it for the next guys and hopefully it lasts for awhile," Fowler said.
Heatherly, a gym regular and heavy bag user was very pleased with the contribution.
"You see 'Support our Troops' signs all the time back home but it's nice to see a real example of it," he said.