MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Marines are known for their strength and skill, and are recognized by the country’s citizens as America’s expeditionary force in readiness. As the nation’s first line of defense, Marines have a huge load to carry to support the citizens as well as their brothers and sisters fighting beside them.
Marine Air Control Squadron 2 hosted its first HITT for Heroes event April 11 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point with a goal of supporting local Marines and Sailors wounded and injured in combat.
High Intensity Tactical Training, or HITT, is a program designed to enhance operational fitness levels and optimize combat readiness and resilience for Marines.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is home to the Wounded Warrior Battalion East. The mission of Wounded Warrior Bn. is taking care of wounded, ill and injured Marines and their families as they proceed through the Integrated Disability Evaluation System process.
Marines hear about those who are physically injured, emotionally scarred and forever in recovery, but it is a hard concept to understand if you have never been there or talked to some of these wounded warriors, according to Cpl. Kristi M. Mitchell, an intelligence specialist with MACS-2.
“The purpose of HITT for Heroes is to raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Bn.,” said Mitchell, coordinator of the HITT for Heroes event with MACS-2. “The money we raised will be used for future events to rehabilitate and boost morale (at the battalion).”
Nearly 150 service members and civilians showed up for the event. Participants helped collect more than $1,100 to support the mission of Wounded Warrior Bn. East.
“It was awesome to see all the participants out on the field, knowing that all of those Marines are there to support our brothers and sisters fighting their own battle,” said Mitchell.
HITT is a fast-paced circuit exercise workout combining a variety of exercises to improve a Marine’s combat readiness. Participants completed each exercise station in groups of five, completing the circuit twice.
Sergeant Maj. Benjamin L. Pangborn, the air station’s sergeant major, said the event showed participants that Marines are Marines first and always look out for one another. HITT for Heroes gave the participants a chance to put that principle into action, according to Pangborn.
“I hope the Marines got out of this that the Marine Corps is a family and it’s about pushing each other,” said Pangborn. “It does not matter what your (military occupational specialty) is, you’re still a Marine, you’re still part of a team. That is what (HITT for Heroes) is, a team event for a good cause.
“Overall this event has been fantastic,” said Pangborn. “The Marines have been motivated, they’ve been fun to talk with and workout with, and share an afternoon of what Marines do - and that’s taking care of each other.”