The ‘Murph Challenge' Highlights Sacrifices of Veterans

Some spend the Memorial Day holiday relaxing with family and friends, but there’s another way to do it. It’s called the “Murph” challenge in honor of Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy, who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan.

The challenge involves running a mile, doing 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, and then finishing it off with another mile.

“The Murph is an event that really kind of highlights the sacrifices of veterans all across the country,” said Steven Kennedy, who completed the challenge at Dooms Day Fitness Experience in New Britain on Monday.

“We’re out here for a good cause we’re honoring veterans,” Avelyn Carrion from New Britain said after her course.

Even though it might sound like a grueling way to honor those who’ve died while serving in the armed forces, over 100 people showed up at Gabriel Gordon’s gym to participate.

“This is greatest feeling in the world to have 100 people come here and support this cause,” said Gordon.

For him, it’s personal.

“It is important to me because I am a veteran,” Gordon said.

The money raised will go towards building a retreat center for veterans and emergency responders struggling with PTSD.

“I’m trying to give back on this Memorial in honor of my son and those who represent,” said Donna Chapman, who leads that effort.

Her son, Sgt. William Davidson, died by suicide in 2017 after returning from Afghanistan and struggling with PTSD himself. 

“When people suffer wounds, whether they’re physical wounds or emotional wounds, to be able to come together with who suffer similarly I think can bond and heal more effectively,” said Chapman, who started the WILL Power for Veterans Fund, Inc. in honor of her son in 2017.

They raised over $700 today, and Chapman has already raised over $57,000 to build this healing place for veterans.

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