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Capt. Francis “Piston” Imlay and son. (Courtesy Photo)
Capt. Francis “Piston” Imlay and son. (Courtesy Photo)
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Fallen hero honored through fitness

Posted 7/18/2012   Updated 7/18/2012 Email story   Print story


by 2nd Lieutenant Jerred Moon
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

7/18/2012 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas  -- There was a Powerlifting competition held at the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) weight room, and a CrossFit competition held at the Pitsenbarger Fitness Center on the 13th and 18th. The events were held to raise money in cooperation with the Air Warrior Courage Foundation for the children of Capt. Francis "Piston" Imlay, a former ENJJPT instructor pilot and F-15E Strike Eagle pilot who was killed in the line of duty supporting Operation Enduring Freedom on March 28th, 2012.

The event was created and organized by Capt. Patrick "Gold'n" Cassidy, Military Training Officer for the 90th Flying Training Squadron. Imlay was Cassidy's instructor pilot in the T-37 Tweet; Imlay was also a T-6A II Texan instructor pilot at ENJJPT from 2006 to 2009.

"The workouts themselves were to honor the memory of Capt. Imlay," Cassidy said. "The money raised is for the Air Warrior Courage Foundation fund setup for his son and daughter, for their college education."

The CrossFit workout, created by Cassidy, was also symbolic to Imlay. The workout consisted of nine kettlebell swings at 75 pounds, 28 burpees, 31 bodyweight squats, 10 deadlifts at 135 pounds all done in succession for five rounds with a 200 meter run at the end.

"The 28 burpees mark the day in which he passed, the 28th of March, and the 31 squats are for how old Imlay was when he passed, 31 years old." Cassidy said. "All the reps along with the 200m run, as one rep, make for 391 repetitions, and he was part of the 391st fighter squadron, the Bold Tigers."

Spectators also attended the event to root for their co-workers and friends. MSgt Daniel Hopkins, Superintendent of Protocol, was one of the spectators and was impressed with all of the competitors involved in the competition.

"I thought it was great to see all the individuals compete in honor of Capt. Imlay," he said. "It is good to see the camaraderie and willingness to put themselves through pain and suffering in memory of one of the fallen."

CrossFit is a fitness methodology that focuses on constantly varied functional movement performed at high-intensity. A foundational part of the CrossFit program is doing workouts in honor of fallen heroes, and there are currently more than 80 hero workouts within CrossFit. Cassidy submitted the workout, in honor of Imlay, to CrossFit headquarters in an effort to make it one of the CrossFit foundational workouts.

Between the power lifting competition and CrossFit competition nearly $600 was raised.

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