Memorial Day often finds those celebrating with pool parties and cookouts. Summer has finally peeked its brazen head and those with close families and holidays off indulge in a celebration of the coming months. But, that wasn’t the case for local Navy Veteran Jeff Cappiello.
On May 29th, Training for Warriors hosted the Murph Challenge event in partnership with Cappiello and Shoes & Brews. Despite the early rise and beckoning call of holiday rest, tons of Longmont denizens were eager to participate.
The event, a national endeavor that began in 2013, involves a significant workout with two miles of running and hundreds of squats, push-ups and pull-ups. In honor of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, who was KIA in Afghanistan in 2005, the yearly event helps raise money for a scholarship fund, plus some capital costs of the Lt. Michael P. Murphy SEAL Museum and Sea Cadet Training Center in Long Island, NY.
Along with national awareness, the Murph Challenge celebrated local heroes from the Longmont area. Cappiello dove through research, finding every local veteran that was killed in action following 9/11. During the workout, he wore each name on his vest.
“While the event is done all over the country, I think it’s crucial for every town to identify and honor the specific locals that gave up their lives,” Cappiello said, barely winded from the intense workout.
The event was held in honor of Christopher Anderson (KIA 2002), Randy Rehn (KIA 2003), Dustin Gould (KIA 2007) and Daniel Romero (who passed away in 2006).
And, as the holiday name entails, Cappiello noted the importance of events like this.
“Memorial Day has become such an abstract idea,” he noted. “It’s about barbecuing with your family and the start of summer, and that’s totally fine. It’s important to remember the real reason behind the holiday, though. It’s important to connect the community to actual people and actual faces.”
In regards to local veterans before the internet era, Cappiello stated that he would like to continue his research, finding more lives to celebrate during the next event.