Monday, January 10, 2011

Today's Workout and Post In Honor of Major Richard Winters

As many in the military community may be aware, Major Dick Winters, former commander of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, died on January 2nd at the age of ninety two.

As a result of reading this on the internet, both news articles and postings from my friends, I decided that I would create a workout today, name it and execute it in his honor.

"Major Winters" 3 rounds for time
135 lbs push press x 10
10 pullups
10 Ring pushups
10 renegade rows
10 kettlebell swings, 2 pood

Now, the only thing I have for pullups at the house is my Metolius Project Simulator board, which, while I love it, torches my forearms for everything they are worth. Next time I hope to go up to four rounds, and ultimately make it to five rounds. I plan on doing this workout every month until I get to five rounds total.

I read Stephen Ambrose's book "Band of Brothers" when I was stationed in Alaska, shortly after the Tom Hank's and Steven Spielberg miniseries came out. I only got to see the first episodes of the miniseries, as we went to the field the next day for close to two weeks. After we got back it was over. However, after I returned from the field I purhased "Band of Brothers" from a bookstore in Anchorage.

When I finished the book, I was very much in awe of everything that the men of Easy Company had endured, and the bond that they developed. This book was one of the books responsible for changing the way I think about the military and military service. This was one of my first steps to realizing that we become part of something greater than ourselves when we join.

In my opinion, the book does a good job telling the story of Easy Company. It is my opinion, however, that the miniseries does an excellent job of really bringing home every soldiers' struggles and contributions to the overall success of Easy Company both in training and across Europe. Major Winters' contributions are first seen in the assault on an entrenched artillery battery in Carentan, where a German Artillery battery is laying down indirect fire on the soldiers wading ashore on the beach. In my opinion, the sequence of the hasty plan, emplacement of the machine guns, and the beginning of the assault does an excellent job of showcasing the chaos and action that happens in combat. This is where the viewer really begins to see then Lieutenant Winters' strength of character.

The second thing that I believe the miniseries showcases in a most excellent manner is how much Major Winters cared about his troops, and how much he loved them. At one point, he goes so far as to nearly abandon his battalion in order to take command of the company he loves, only to be ordered back into place by his brigade commander.

The interviews with Major Winters are quite poignant, as well as giving even more insight into the man's character. The words that were said by another paratrooper, Sergeant Mike Ranney, summed up how Major Winters felt about his soldiers. "I treasure my remark to my grandson who asked, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?' Grandpa said, 'No... but I served in a company of heroes'".

So, in summary, I salute you, Major Dick Winters, for your service above and beyond the call of duty, beyond anything that was asked of you. May you rest in peace.


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