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Workout to remember fallen Airman

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Remember the day, the face, the laugh, the smile, and tears... remember?

Whether it is a family member, friend or fellow Airman, the loss of a life has an impact that ripples throughout their communities.

As time moves on and the opportunity to remember the fallen becomes more sporadic, it is never too late to pay tribute.

One such tribute is in the form of the annual LeeBernard Chavis Memorial Workout, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 14.

The workout honors Airmen 1st Class LeeBernard Chavis, a fallen member of the 824th Security Forces Squadron, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. Chavis was killed in action while deployed to Detachment 7, 732nd Expeditionary Unit, Camp Victory, and Baghdad, Iraq in 2006.

Members of the 824th SFS have asked anyone who would like to participate in a workout (below) in memory of Chavis on Oct. 14 at a time and location of their personal discretion.

The workout:
150 Burpies
1 mile run
150 squat thrusters

The 824th SFS, within the 820th SFG, operates at a high tempo and is ready to deploy at any moment for extended periods of time. Those who deployed in 2006 are known as the Ghostwalkers for their ability to move in, get the job done, and retreat unnoticed, said Staff Sgt. Heather Ruhlman, formerly stationed with Chavis and deployed to Iraq with his unit.

"In 2008 we started commemorating the memory of Airman 1st Class Chavis with a workout," said Ruhlman. "This year we want to get as many people to complete the workout as possible."

Chavis' unit was headed back to the green zone when they were called to help the Iraqi Police set up a safe zone for a suspected improvised explosive device.

"Chavis was a turret gunner and he had to be standing most of the time to protect the perimeter," said Ruhlman. "Chavis was killed by an enemy sniper attack from a mobile platform while performing his duties."

Staff Sgt. Ryan Cushing, a 381st Training Support Squadron military training leader here, was stationed with Chavis at Moody AFB and was directly involved with operations the day Chavis died.

"I want to make sure that the sacrifice made by Chavis will never be forgotten," said Cushing. "His death took a huge toll on our Air Force family."

Many Airmen who were once a part of the 824th SFS have since moved on to different bases and commands, but this workout will bind them together again and help them commemorate Chavis' memory.

"My biggest fear was that I would forget Chavis and his sacrifice," said Ruhlman. "The wide-spread reaction throughout the military means a lot to me and all those who knew Chavis. It shows me that after all of these years he has not been forgotten."

Some may choose to do this workout in memory of Chavis and others may choose another fallen Airman to commemorate.

"This workout is for all Airmen who have lost their lives, we will workout in memory of Chavis, but others may do it in memory of anyone they choose," said Cushing. "It is like the run to remember, but instead of running it is an intense workout."