Health & Safety

April 24, 2014

ERQS PJs honor fallen Airman with a fitness challenge memorial one year later

Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross
(U.S. Air Force photos by Staff Sgt. Christopher Gross)
Service members flip a tire during the Memorial Mash in honor of U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Nick McCaskill on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, April 6. Members of the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron organized the mash in remembrance of the one year anniversary of McCaskill’s death in Afghanistan. More than 70 people, split into 18 teams, competed in the event, which consisted of a total of 1,010 repetitions between 11 exercises. The repetitions symbolized McCaskill’s operating initials, a unique “XX.”

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Members of the 82nd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (ERQS) organized a “Memorial Mash,” in honor of U.S. Air Force pararescueman Chief Master Sgt. Nick McCaskill on Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, April 6, 2014.

The mash, a fitness challenge, marked the one year anniversary of McCaskill’s death in Afghanistan. More than 70 people, split into 18 teams, competed in the event, which consisted of a total of 1,010 repetitions between 11 exercises. The repetitions symbolized McCaskill’s operating initials, a unique “XX.”

“He was looked up to by a lot of other PJs. He was a mild mannered, humble professional, and a great father to two girls,” said Senior Master Sgt. Howard Smith, 82nd ERQS, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape specialist and senior enlisted leader.

Smith and McCaskill were stationed with each other at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. as part of the 306th Rescue Squadron. In the nearly eight years Smith worked with McCaskill he said he never “sought out recognition,” but wanted to bring out the best in everybody around him.

That’s why Smith and other members of his team thought the fitness challenge would be the most appropriate way to honor their fellow Airman. Bring people together and have them push each other beyond what they thought they were capable.

Eric Beougher performs a dead lift during the Memorial Mash. Beoughe, a U.S. Air Force airman first class, is a member of the 449th Air Expeditionary Group security forces detachment 1.

“Nick would always say ‘Lay it on,’” Smith said. “That just meant for him to take it, run with it, and get it done.” Which is something each of the competitors would have to do. Accept the challenge, push through and get it done.

“PJs are instilled with the value of teamwork very early on,” said Staff Sgt. Isaac Blanton, 82nd ERQS pararescueman. “Chief knew the value of teamwork and exemplified it throughout his career. For that reason, we wanted to honor his memory with a team event.”

A few of the final numbers, accumulated from all the mash participants, included a total of 7,300 box jumps, 1,800 dead lifts for a total weight of 333,000 pounds, 73 buddy carries covering 4.5 miles and 73 memorial pushups. After each team finished their 1,010 repetitions, each participant did one more extra pushup in honor of McCaskill.

Maj. Jesse Peterson, 82nd ERQS commander, said McCaskill would have loved the atmosphere.

“Above all else, chief was a people person,” Peterson said. “The fact that so many people were out there having fun would have put a huge smile on his face.”

Peterson and Smith both recalled just how much McCaskill liked being around friends and family, whether it was a barbecue at his house or a good physical training session with his Airmen.

“Everybody always felt comfortable around him,” Peterson said. “This memorial mash, where everyone was working as a team and enjoying each other’s company, was the perfect way to honor a fallen warrior and friend.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

Don’t become a target

Considering recent threats against Americans and the exponential growth of social media use, becoming a target of an adversary is easier than ever. Operations Security is a process that identifies unclassified, critical informa...
 
 
BreastCancerAwareness_pict

An Airman’s story: My mother didn’t fight alone

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. – His green eyes frantically searched the crowd for his dying mother. During his final pass and review at basic military training (BMT) he saw her in the stands, cheering him on. A year later, ...
 
 

Fire Prevention Week 2014

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chris Drzazgowski) Sparky the Fire Dog, National Fire Protection Association spokesdog, and members from the 355th Fire Emergency Services flight taught children from the Child Development Center how to stop, drop and roll at Davis-Monthan, Oct. 8. The 355th FES conducted several events in conjunction with Fire...
 

 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Micaiah Anthony)

Trick-or-treat safely this Halloween

Excitement is in the air and ghosts, ghouls, monsters and princesses will be out in mass, October 31, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.. Accidents and mishaps increase during this event. To prevent them use common sense, be aware of p...
 
 

Early HPV vaccination protects those at risk

Cheryl Pellerin DoD News, Defense Media Activity WASHINGTON – Immunization at a young age against the human papilloma virus can protect those who are typically infected in the United States –- military- or college-age young adults –- from a range of cancers as adults, an expert from the Defense Health Agency said today. Air Force...
 
 

Tip line reports illegal acts to AFOSI

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Reporting suspicious activity has become much easier. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations established a tip line for the Air Force to support the insider-threat mission. The tip line is an anonymous reporting mechanism to advise law enforcement of illegal activities. It provides an easily accessible avenue for individuals to...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin