Written by Tim Talley
Willimantic, Conn. - Eastern Connecticut State University will host its second annual Veteran's Day Challenge from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 11. The event consists of a demanding one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups and 300 air squats, followed by another one-mile run. Participants can compete as teams of four or individually, and can increase the number of points received by wearing a 10-or 20-pound weight vest. Prizes will be awarded for first, second or third place.
"There is no equipment involved. It's a raw, bare bones workout that only requires heart and grit to make it through it," says Caleb Diebolt, one of the competition's creators.
The Veterans Day Challenge competition is based on the workout of Medal of Honor recipient and Navy Seal, Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in action during a tour in Afghanistan. The Navy Medal of Honor website describes his sacrifice in his biography: "Murphy is credited with risking his own life to save the lives of his teammates. Murphy, intent on making contact with headquarters, but realizing it would be impossible in the extreme terrain where they were fighting, with complete disregard for his own life, moved into the open, where he could gain a better position to transmit a call to get help for his men."
"Last year's event brought in more than 75 participants, and we hope to double that this year," says Brandi Schott, veteran services liaison for Eastern. "More than $3,500 was raised for the Veteran's Scholarship Fund."
"The challenge was a phenomenal program last year, unifying the campus in its support of veterans and active military with the development of a scholarship as a wonderful additional outcome," said Kenneth Bedini, vice-president for student affairs at Eastern. "We are excited this year for a bigger and better event and one that leads to our goal of endowing the scholarship."
The Veterans Day Challenge is the main source of funding for the Veteran's Scholarship Fund, which, once endowed, will help military, veteran and dependent students at Eastern fund their education. Each team is encouraged to raise at least $100 to donate to the fund.
The Veterans Day Challenge is also conducting an art contest, with the the winner being honored for how well he or she express what the military means. For more information or to register, contact the VETS Center on campus by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-465-0402.