Marines, sailors battle to be Ironman champion
Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron Marines pushed through pain and discomfort in the frigid morning air Jan. 18, 2013, to strengthen brotherly ties and relish in healthy rivalry during the Ironman Team Competition.
“Today, we did this in remembrance of those Marines, sailors and soldiers who went before us in the Korean War,” said Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Melton, H&HS squadron gunnery sergeant. “This morning it was around 38 degrees. This event in particular gives the Marines kind of a taste of what those Marines before us went through and the standard that they set.”
Teams battled it out in several timed events, starting with a 400 push up challenge, fighting to get a grip on the wet bars and logs of the obstacle course, then ending with a grueling resupply run.
“Events like this build camaraderie and get people out of the office,” said Lt. Col. Frederick L. Lewis, H&HS commanding officer. “It’s important to get people out and enjoying some physical activity and building camaraderie.”
The air traffic controller team proved itself the most dedicated to winning, coming in first with minutes to spare before the next competitors.
“We won because we have heart, every one of these guys has heart,” said Cpl. Mark Villione, H&HS air traffic controller. “You don’t have to be the strongest person in the world, you don’t have to be the fastest person in the world; if you have heart, then you can do it.”
While the satisfaction of healthy competition is enough for many Marines and sailors, winners will also receive a scheduled educational trip to Korea and the demilitarized zone, in honor of the “Frozen Chosin,” and to learn more about the history of those Marines who fought so valiantly.
“These Marines are going to be able to go to the DMZ and peer across and see North Korea, they’ll be able to feel the tension in the air,” said Lewis. “It’s not something in a book; the Chosin Reservoir is our history, but we’re living part of that history right now.