Former Marine P.J. Kellogg is bringing together Crossfit athletes to remember 31 U.S. service members who lost their lives in 2011 when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.
Kellogg is the general manager of Crossfit MetroCenter in Washington and organized the “31 Hero W.O.D” on Aug. 1 for Uprise Fitness’ three Crossfit gyms. He was inspired to bring the commemorative workout to his own gym after realizing the event honored a mission in which his friend had been killed.
“After losing a friend in the actual happening of the 31 Heroes, I had no idea that there was actually a workout that other gyms and affiliates completed and raised donations for,” Kellogg said. “It means a lot to me because I understand it on a personal level.”
The Boeing CH-47 helicopter was transporting a group of quick-reaction troops, including members of the Navy SEALS, Naval Special Operations personnel, Air Force Special Tactics airmen, National Guard and Army Reserve, when it was shot down. Everyone on board was killed.
“They knew what they were doing when they did it, and they’re heroes for doing it,” Kellogg said. “They didn’t want any recognition. They would probably hate how much they’re missed today because they feel like what they did, even though they lost their lives, was something that’s meaningful to them.”
Athletes who completed the workout remembered these troops, as well as loved ones who had served, to keep them motivated through the 31-minute workout. Kellogg plans to continue hosting the event annually.
“As someone who has been in that field and seen guys selflessly risk their lives for complete strangers is just awe-inspiring,” Kellogg said. “I never will have an excuse not to try my best to participate in these workouts and try to get as many people involved as well.”