Why we are doing JAG28 on Memorial Day

Every year Memorial Day reminds us to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate price to defend our country. Every year CrossFit gyms all across the country perform "Hero WODs" to help remember different people who gave their life for our country. Often gyms do Murph on Memorial Day in memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, 29, of Patchogue, N.Y., who was killed in Afghanistan June 28th, 2005.

Michael Murphy was a hero. Last year we did Murph in his honor, and this year we will do JAG28 to remember U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Mark Forester, 29, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Mark was assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, based in Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, died on September 29,2010, while conducting combat operations in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. He is survived by his parents Ray and Pat, and siblings Terri, David, Joseph and Thad.

The last photo of Mark (right) alongside the Medic he died trying to save.

The last photo of Mark (right) alongside the Medic he died trying to save.

We learned more about Mark thanks to one of our own members, Greg Fox. Mark and Greg were best friends. Mark loved CrossFit and tried to get Greg to try it for a while. Finally, at one point he made Greg promise him he would try CrossFit someday. 

I asked Greg to share some more info about Mark as we prepare to remember him on Memorial Day.

He was my best friend. Best dude in the world. I was with him on 9/11 when he decided to fight. He joined Air Force Special Operations shortly after college and became an Combat Controller 2 years later. These guys usually attach to SEAL or Green Beret units in the field. They go through the same training, and when they're not calling in bombs, they're fighting alongside those guys. 

Mark was KIA on his first deployment when he attempted to save a Green Beret Medic who had been shot by a sniper. The photo I attached is the last photo ever taken of him a few hours before his death. The soldier next to him is the medic he died trying to save. 

JAG28 was his call sign he used to communicate with pilots overhead. 

Above all, he was a great person. Best I'll ever know. 

Here is some other information about Mark: 

  • USAF Combat Controller: 2007-2010, assigned to 21STS, Pope AFB, NC 
  • Distinguished Graduate: USAF Combat Control School 2008 
  • Silver Star: Awarded 15 June 2012 for actions on 29 September 2010 
  • Bronze Star with Valor: 6 August 2010 
  • Purple Heart: 29 September 2010 
  • KIA: In support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Uruzgon Province, Afghanistan, 29 September 2010 
  • Survivors: Mom, Dad, 1 sister, 3 brothers, 18 nieces and nephews 
  • Religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

To learn more about Mark:

We are so thankful for a chance to be able to remember and honor the hero that Mark is. Greg also wants everyone to know that Mark would have wanted everyone to enjoy a Chik-fil-A milkshake after the workout.

JAG28

For time:
Run 800 meters
28 Kettlebell swings, 2 pood
28 Strict Pull-ups
28 Kettlebell clean and jerk, 2 pood each
28 Strict Pull-ups
Run 800 meters

Join us on Monday at 10am for JAG28.