On 3-16-2016 I had the honor and privilege of attending the first annual Hero WOD for MSG Brian Tripp held at Land Warrior CrossFit in Suffield. Brian was a career Army NCO and retired after 23 years of service. Like so many of our returning men and women, he secretly battled unresolved issues and left us far too early on Easter Sunday April 24, 2011. Brian was tragically one of the 22 veterans that commit suicide everyday.
I have heard that statistic before- 22 veterans a day, but while doing some research for this article, I was confronted with the sobering fact that, it is 8030 of our men and women per year. To quote Brian’s brother Dave Tripp, “the 22 is not just a number or statistic, it is a deep scar in my family’s life, it is a hole that could never be filled, it is a question that can never be answered and many people share those wounds.”
To anyone who has attended a veteran’s funeral service, they know without a doubt, it is not the crack of the rifle volley, it is the silence between shots that is deafening. It echos the silence of a loved one gone too soon…
Dave Tripp co-owner of LandWarrior Crossfit started the memorial event with a few words of gratitude for everyone showing up, a few words about his brother, and about the seriousness of this issue. He followed that with a reading of a “Letter To Brian”- here are the first two sentences of his letter,
“Happy Birthday brother, hope this message finds you well and you can hear me.
How is heaven? I pray that you have found peace and have healed from what pains you here on earth.”
This is real!
I applaud the Tripp family for sharing the way that they are. Instead of retreating from the pain, they are actively keeping Brian’s memory alive and bringing attention to this problem.
This event itself was well thought out and by all means, a success. There were two workout heats. The first had 47 people participate and 37 in the second. The workout also had significance built in. Brian’s birthday is 3-7-1968.
The WOD (Workout Of the Day) was:
7 wall balls
19 sit ups
68 double unders
For as many reps as possible for a time of 23 minutes representing Brian’s 23 years of military service.
Land Warrior Crossfit was named after a business Dave and Brian shared. After Brian’s passing, the LandWarrior Crossfit was soon born carrying the honor of Brian- the original Land Warrior.
Owners Dave Tripp and Dave Flint have created a special place in LandWarrior Crossfit. It is clear that it is a tight community and type of place we all need, a place of friends and support.
Proceeds from the event went to the MSG Brian Tripp Scholarship Fund
Please support our Veterans and their families
22 to 0
For pictures of the event please go to our facebook page