CrossFit South Rockland

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hard workout honors soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Posted on Fri, Aug. 13, 2010
Hard workout honors soldiers killed in Afghanistan

BILOXI — Flat on their backs. Pumping iron. Drenched with sweat. A group of CrossFit Gym members tested their endurance during a tribute workout Thursday to honor three Special Forces soldiers killed in Afghanistan in 2009.

The three soldiers — Capt. Ronald G. Luce Jr., Sgt. 1st Class Severin W. Summers III, and Sgt. 1st Class Alejandro Granado — were killed by a roadside bomb in Qole Gerdsar, Afghanistan.

Friends said they wanted to honor the fallen soldiers by doing something Luce, Summers and Granado loved to do.

CrossFit owner Ken Thomas, an Army veteran and Gulfport police officer, said he offered his facility when he found out the three soldiers died one year ago this month.

“The soldiers were warriors and they were my friends,” said Capt. Clay Winberry from the 2nd Battalion Special Forces team. “It just seemed like the right way to honor these men because these folks pushing themselves in the gym today is the way the soldiers lived their lives every day.”

The three had been assigned to 2nd Battalion 20th Special Forces Group Airborne.

Several soldiers from the unit, including former members, competed in the high-intensity team workout that included dead lifts, 6,000-meter rows, burpees, jumps, ball shots and thrusters without the luxury of air conditioning.

“The CrossFit workout literally whips you into shape, and quick,” Thomas said. “But anyone can do it at any level. It is all about pushing yourself.”

CrossFit owners said the gym, which caters to fitness enthusiasts, law enforcement officers and the military, features a fitness program focusing on building up core strength through a series of high-intensity movements such as shoulder presses, dead lifts and squats.

“Our brothers are gone, but they are not forgotten,” said Lt. Col. Don Randle, who was the battalion commander when Luce, Summers and Granado were killed last year. “This memorial is fitting for these warriors. This was one of the means they used to stay in tip-top condition, and a reminder that the price of freedom is very high.”

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