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    Sweat earns pride, money for wounded warriors

    Sweat earns pride, money for wounded warriors

    Photo By Spc. James Wilton | Mike Osburn, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers brigade provincial reconstruction team...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. James Wilton 

    2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division

    BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Task Force Red Bulls soldiers deployed to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, raised money for wounded warriors and their families through physical training May 29.

    “Memorial Day is much more than a three day weekend, it’s a day to thank the men and women in uniform that are carrying on a tradition of service,” said U.S. Army Spc. Andrew Miller, a 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Task Force Red Bulls, fire support specialist, from Hombolt, Iowa. “Most importantly we must honor those who gave their lives for our freedom. I’m proud to follow the footsteps of those who have served before me.”

    “Before I joined the Guard, Memorial Day wasn’t as big to me as it is now,” said U.S. Army Spc. Ashley O’Hearn, a 2nd BCT, 34th Inf. Div., TF Red Bulls, aviation operations specialist, from Pipestone, Minn. “It means a lot more being overseas and seeing soldiers getting killed. It makes me wish more people realized how important it is to remember them. Memorial Day used to mean just some days off from work or school, and now after being here, it means a time that we all need to sit back and give thanks to the soldiers fighting for our country and freedom.”

    The workout of the day was the “Murph.” A CrossFit workout dedicated to Medal of Honor recipient, U.S. Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy, 29, a Navy Seal from Patchogue, Ny., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28, 2005.

    “Murph,” consists of a one mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats and finishes with another one mile run. On top of that, the whole workout is conducted with 40-plus pounds of body armor.

    The soldiers, along with Mike Osburn, the fundraiser organizer, raised more than $1,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project, the Lone Survivor Foundation and the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

    Osburn, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, TF Red Bulls, brigade provincial reconstruction team lead engineer, from Franklin, Tenn., and self-proclaimed CrossFit junkie, conducted his own rendition of the exercise accompanied by three service members the following day. He has been doing CrossFit for almost two years now and often reads blogs about special events or fundraisers like this.

    “You read about a lot of guys who serve and don’t come home, this is our way to pay them back,” said Osburn. “I have been attached with the military here as a civilian, which is sometimes more of a liability, for some time. Everyone is always worried about my well being, so it is nice to help out and return the favor.”

    Murphy, according to his award citation, was a part of a four-man Seal team ambushed during a reconnaissance mission in the Hindu Kush. Outnumbered, 50–to-4, and wounded, the team attempted to retreat during which Murphy’s communications officer was shot in the hand and couldn’t place the critical distress call to headquarters.

    Murphy, despite the intense fire fight and suffering severe gunshot wounds, knew the importance of getting air support, so he took the radio from his wounded teammate and moved into the open to make contact. The extreme terrain blocked the signal from his covered location so this was their only option.

    He performed unhesitant actions with complete disregard for his own life allowing helicopters to be dispatched to the team’s location, saving the life of one of the Seals, the other three, including Murphy, lost their lives during the two-hour long fight.

    “When you do a workout like this that was named after soldiers, police or firemen that lost their lives, it is important to push till you can’t push anymore,” said Osburn. “It’s makes you want to go until your heart explodes, to go until you pass out. You know when everything starts to get dark, and you’re starting to get a little dizzy that you are doing it right. You know that you gave it all that you had and you haven’t left anything in reserve.”

    The chance to honor and remember fallen heroes in a unique way intrigued the people around Osburn.

    “People were amazed that I wanted to do this type of workout and they were excited to get involved in order to help service members and their families,” said Osburn. “The difficulty of the workout also spurred a healthy competition among everyone involved.”

    The workout became more than just a way to remember soldiers and friends they had lost. It was also a test, a way to prove they were worthy to continue in the shoes of service members like Murphy.

    “I competed in the Memorial Day “Murph” to challenge myself and push my body to its limits, and in honor of our fallen heroes,” said Miller. “I felt a sense of pride when I finished the Memorial Day “Murph” knowing I gave it my all. Everyone participating put 100 percent into it, and we all looked great.”

    The difficulty was evident on their faces and the sweat rolling off their brows, but all involved pushed through, completing it in under or just over an hour.

    “It is the worst time you could ever have working out,” said Osburn. “Every time I do it, the most awful negative horrible thoughts run through your mind. There’s nothing like the relief when it’s over and you’re really excited that you were able to do it.”

    Beyond just a motivation, the workout dedication gave the soldiers a desire to learn more about a fellow service member and hero.

    “I find it motivating and intriguing to do a workout that is in memory of fellow [service members],” said Miller. “I liked looking into what Murphy had done and who he was. It gave me a better understanding of who he was and what drove him to enjoy such a workout. It’s a tremendous feeling of accomplishment. Being able to complete a workout that was done often by a man many looked at as a hero.”

    “The funny part is, if you think about it, this was Lieutenant Murphy’s favorite workout,” said Osburn. “This was an everyday thing for him.”



    Date Taken: 05.29.2011
    Date Posted: 06.16.2011 02:35
    Story ID: 72160
    Location: BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AF 

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