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THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2014  10:12:16 PM

Fitness community takes part in CrossFit For Hope in Afghanistan

Email   Print   Share By Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
July 11, 2013 | Leisure
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Maj. Demetrius Perry wears a small black ribbon on his physical training shirt in remembrance of U.S. Army Spc. Hilda Clayton, a combat documentation/production specialist who was killed during a live-fire mortar weapon system training exercise, July 2, in eastern Afghanistan. Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
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Lt. Col. William Johnson performs a power snatch while participating in “CrossFit For Hope,” held at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Friday. The Gamberi fitness community participated in the annual event that raises money for a children’s charity in which profits help find a cure for children’s illnesses. Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
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Capt. Victor Montellano performs a power snatch while participating in “CrossFit For Hope,” held at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Friday. Montellano serves as a logistics officer, assigned to the 5-82 FA Regt., 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - The Forward Operating Base Gamberi fitness community showed up in solidarity Friday to participate in “CrossFit For Hope.”

Soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and civilian contractors who enjoy participating in CrossFit took part in the annual event.

According to the website, the workout is conducted by athletes worldwide on the same day to raise awareness of the fight against children’s cancer and other illnesses.

“CrossFit affiliates across the world on the 5th of July are all going to do this work out,” said Lt. Col. William Johnson, commander of the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.

Johnson said what drew him to take part in “CrossFit For Hope” was the fact that it raised money for a children’s charity. Johnson said all profits go directly from Hope for Cures to chosen organizations that help find a cure for childrens’ illnesses.

He mentioned that each of the participants wore a small black ribbon pinned to the front left side of their shirt in rememberance of Spc. Hilda Clayton, a combat documentation/production specialist who was killed while taking pictures of Afghan National Army soldiers during a live-fire training exercise, July 2. The mortar weapon system the ANA soldiers were using failed, resulting in an explosion that killed three ANA soldiers and Clayton.

Clayton was attached to the 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div., to document the development of the Afghan National Security Forces and she died doing exactly that. Her images have been featured on Department of Defense and Department of the Army websites, as well as in print stories read around the world.

“We knew Spc. Clayton enjoyed taking pictures and participating in CrossFit, so we wore the ribbon in remembrance of her. It gave us all a little bit of extra motivation for the workout today,” Johnson said.

The outdoor workout involved five-minute rounds with a one-minute break before repeating. The clock did not reset or stop between exercises. Upon the word “rotate,” the athletes moved to the next station with one point given for each repetition. They all received a safety brief and a demonstration on how to properly perform each exercise before the event.

Johnson said the high temperature in the afternoon was a factor on why they began the workout at 7 a.m.

“It was a lot of fun getting everybody out here to participate for such a worthy cause,” said Capt. Victor Montellano, a logistics officer assigned to the 5th Battalion, 82nd Field Artillery Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.

Montellano helped coordinate and promote the event. He said even though it is a friendly competition, once people start competing against one another, it gets to be pretty fun. Montellano has been participating in CrossFit for the last 2.5 years and said it never gets old.

“It’s a great workout; it keeps guys in shape,” Montellano said. “CrossFit is fun and brings people together.”

Spc. Samuel Hock, an infantryman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div., who also participated in the event, said it was good training. He said he started CrossFit when he got to Afghanistan almost nine months ago. Hock recommended everyone try CrossFit, adding that it will be painful at first.

“It’s tough; the weights are light, but it is all about having the proper form and technique,” Hock said.

“If you can master that, you are good.”

The one-minute exercises included three rounds of burpees, power snatch, box jumps, thrusters, chest-to-bar pull-ups and finally resting for one minute.

“We came out here early in the morning and it sucked,” Hock said, jokingly. “I am glad I came out here and did it.”
 
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