Story by SGT Ashley Morris on 09/13/2019(DAVIS-MONTHAN AFB, Ariz.) Several Task Force Patriot Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment and 2nd Battalion 2nd Infantry Regiment held a special physical readiness training session at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base fitness track, Tucson, Arizona, Sept. 11, to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The CrossFit themed workout session focused on honoring the victims of the attacks and the 6400 service members who gave their lives in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.
Maj. Sean Cockrill, a certified CrossFit coach and the operations officer for 2nd Bn, 4th Inf Reg, created a workout session that consists of exercises that each hold special meanings.
"The military and the CrossFit communities are big into hero workouts to memorialize those who have gone before us, to include military, law enforcement, families and friends," Cockrill said. "For this event, I wanted to not only commemorate the tragic events of 9/11, but also pay tribute to all of the service members that have been killed in action in the global war on terror that followed those tragic events."
The terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people happened 18 years ago, and today's generation of young recruits are either too young to remember that historic day or they were not born yet. On Sep. 11, 2001, Islamic terrorist hijacked four commercial airplanes, crashing two into the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The fourth plane heading towards the White House was diverted but crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Spc. Robert Martino, a nodal network systems operator-maintainer assigned to HHC, 2nd Bn, 4th Inf Reg, was five years old on Sept. 11, 2001. He was attending kindergarten on Chambers and Greenwich streets in Tribeca, New York City.
"I was young," Martino said. "At first I did not realize what was happening, then everyone started panicking. It was surreal trying to figure out what was going on."
Now that Martino is older, this PRT session held special meaning to him.
"As the years went on I kind of realized the effect that day had on my father and everyone in my neighborhood," Martino said. "This PT session meant a lot to me because I saw the group come together in unity to achieve a goal, kind of like the locals in downtown New York did after Sep. 11."
Before beginning the workout, Lt. Col. Dallas Cheatham, 2nd Bn, 4th Inf Reg commander, led the group in a moment of silence.
Partner teams ran a combined total of 6,400 meters around the track, completing eight 400-meter laps, with exercises between each lap. The 6,400 meters represent the number of service members killed in action during OIF and OEF.
While one partner ran a lap, the other partner performed nine Army combat fitness test leg tucks and 11 pushups, to represent the date of the terror attacks. In the remaining time they waited for their partner, they conducted 417 air squats representing the height in meters of the twin towers.
The workout began at 5:46 a.m., Mountain Standard Time. The first tower was struck at 8:46 a.m., Eastern Standard Time.