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NEWS | Nov. 8, 2015

Looking beyond the uniform: Army Reserve show their support for their community

By Sgt. Bethany Huff 204th Public Affairs Detachment

PALM BAY, Fla. — Civilians and Army Reserve Soldiers challenged themselves at the 2015 Central Florida Tough Mudder in Palm Bay, Fla., Nov. 7-8.
Over the years, the Tough Mudder has brought over two million people together to engage in a series of challenges that not only pushes participants to their physical limits, but also tests their mental grit to get through the obstacles.
The U.S. Army Reserve has partnered with the Tough Mudder over the years, with this year being no different.
“We’re here, not only to recruit, but also to tell the Army’s story,” said Maj. Ken Dobbe, the Distribution and Integration Branch Chief for the 143rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), based out of Orlando, Florida.
Telling the Army’s story is not lent to just one Soldier or to one method especially for some of the Soldiers volunteering at the event.  
“After everything fades and the climate changes, people forget. So when they see Soldiers out and about in the community with something like this, it kind of reminds them,” said Dobbes. “It shows them that we’re apart of the community that we’re not just in Afghanistan or Iraq, but that we’re right here in the same community that they are.”
Soldiers from different units across the Reserve helped to foster community relations with the mudders during the weekend’s events.     
There were drill sergeants who challenged mudders to the Army Fitness Challenge; Soldiers from the 143rd ESC high-fived and cheered on mudders throughout the course; The Volunteers, one of the ensembles of the U.S. Army Field Band played an assortment of music for competitors and spectators alike; and recruiters were on site to answer any questions that people had about the Army.
“We are motivating individuals to push beyond what they think they can do,” said Staff Sgt. David Magana, a drill sergeant with Bravo Company, 2nd Brigade, 321st Training Division, who also stated later he hopes people admire their dedication and realize that there are Soldiers around them even when they are not in uniform.
“It’s amazing that they’re here,” said Krystal Bemman, the second overall woman to finish the Tough Mudder, “I’m glad that Tough Mudder and [the Army] come together for this kind of stuff and to make people aware.”
The Tough Mudder is a culmination of the Army values in a setting that civilians can relate to, and almost experience what it is like to complete some challenges that Soldiers can go through in their Army careers.
“It’s great thing to have, it shows that support, by having soldiers from various units here,” said Ashley Hayes, a Tough Mudder from Orange Park, Florida.

“It goes well with Tough Mudder, because you’re out there, you’re pushing your teammates, you’re pushing yourself, but ultimately it’s about the camaraderie and the Army supports that.”

Click here to learn more about the 377th Theater Sustainment Command or the 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command