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442nd Medical Squadron: Dashing Warriors

Posted 7/24/2011   Updated 7/26/2011 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Wesley Wright
442nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


7/24/2011 - WHITEMAN AFB, Mo. -- Approximately seven to 10 members of the 442nd Medical Squadron will compete in the Warrior Dash in Kansas City, Mo. July 30.

Warrior Dash is an extreme sports event hosted annually across the United States which consists of a timed run on a 3.1-mile course with 10 different obstacles.

A few of these obstacles are the barricade breakdown, consisting of walls to jump over and barbed wire to climb under; the cliffhanger, where participants rappel down a wall via rope; and the warrior roast, where warriors leap over open flames.

One of the medical squadron warriors braving these flames is Senior Master Sgt. Greg Clawson.

Clawson first heard of Warrior Dash online. He is a runner who has competed in several half-marathons.

"A bunch of us found it on Facebook, and we started checking it out, and individually we started coming together saying 'I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it,' so we kind of built up a head of steam," Clawson said. "By the end of the drill weekend we had eight or 10 people interested."

Master Sgt. Heather Yacobozzi, also a participant, first heard about Warrior Dash during a squadron meeting where Maj. Jill Blake asked the squadron if they were interested in doing the event as a group.

Participants cannot just waltz through the Warrior Dash though; both Clawson and Yacobozzi agreed that physical fitness would be a prerequisite.

Clawson said he did not have any extraordinary physical preparations for the dash other than running and being in good physical shape.

Yacobozzi said to prepare for the event; she increased her upper body strength for the obstacles, and ran slower and for longer distances.

Clawson said being prepared mentally for the Warrior Dash is based on determination.
"Mentally I think it is a matter of whether you find something like that both challenging and entertaining at the same time, which is where we are as a group here." He said. "that's why we decided to get to together and do it."

Yacobozzi said she thought the event would be fun and evoked fond memories.
"I'm just excited about going out and having a good time," she said. "When I was in basic training, the obstacle course was the best day I had."

Clawson and Yacobozzi both said they expect dividends from the event, both for the squadron and personally.

"For the group as a whole, it's going to be a good camaraderie day and a way to have fun with each other," Clawson said.

For Yacobozzi, the reward is not in the form of a trophy, but rather in the experience, she said.

"I'm not in any way wanting to win the race - I just want to finish," she said. "Mentally, I'm excited, actually."

As a part of the camaraderie, the squadron made T-shirts which read "Down and Dirty Warrior Dash: Kansas City 2011" to wear as a squadron to the event.

Yacobozzi said she thinks this event will be beneficial for the squadron.

"As a squadron it just going to bring us even closer together, we are already a very close squadron. Morale is usually good," she said. "It's going to be good times, to get out there and enjoy ourselves not at work but still as a team."

Clawson said he thinks the event will yield personal gratification as well.

"It's like any challenge you decide to take on: Once you complete that there's always that sense of self-satisfaction that you accomplished something you set out to do."

Clawson said the 442nd Medical Squadron plans on making the Warrior Dash an annual event, and some of the reservists plan on participating in another endurance event, Tough Mudder, in 2012.

Yacobozzi said she wants to see how this competition goes before she tries another.
"It's something I want to experience once; maybe I'll do it again. I just think it'll be a good time and a lot of fun." She said. "I want to get this done first, and then I'll look at Tough Mudder."

Clawson said the squadron is ready for Warrior Dash 2011.

"We all are pretty excited; we're getting geared up, jazzed, and ready to go," he said.



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