ROTC gathered to raise awareness for veteran suicides

Attendees of the “Work Out of the Day” event pose together before a 22 minute workout to raise awareness on veteran suicides.

Logan Metzger

Early on Friday, the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and Team Red, White and Blue hosted the “Work Out of the Day” event at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center, to raise awareness for veteran suicides.

“We have the largest number of people across the world doing this workout,” said Derek Zobler, social director for Team Red, White and Blue, while addressing the gathered people. “You guys now have 202 people, which is two times larger than anyone else in the world doing this event.”

At 6 a.m., the doors to the Lied Recreation Athletic Center opened and people started to file in. Students were in attendance from all branches of the Iowa State ROTC, including Army ROTC, Naval ROTC and Air Force ROTC.

At 6:10, Zobler and Hunter Bauman, Army ROTC cadet and senior in kinesiology and health, gave a speech to the attendees before singing the National Anthem as a group.

“We have Veteran’s Day coming up and that is something we are keeping in mind with this workout,” Bauman said. “The reason this workout is 22 minutes non-stop is that we are raising awareness of veteran suicide, so we can help prevent some of those situations from happening. Realize that it doesn’t matter what branch you are in, it doesn’t matter if you served in the past. If you are serving in the future or if you are currently serving, the purpose is for all of us to culminate together, it’s that brotherhood and sisterhood in arms.”

The attendees split into ten groups, each lead by a pre-determined group leader. Each of the groups was not one singular branch of ROTC, all of the branches were mixing together.

At 6:15 a.m., the groups started warm-ups before starting the actual workout which started at exactly 6:20 a.m.

The workout consisted of cycles of burpees, sit-ups, squats and lunges, which the attendees did while in a circle with their group leader in the middle, leading them through the workout.

Halfway through the workout, individuals in various groups could be heard shouting encouragements to each other.

“I had fun, we probably could have used some music but I think people started shouting to each other “you can do it, one more set” I think that was really helpful,” Zobler said.

Finally, the workout concluded at 6:42a.m., where the attendees took a five-minute stretching break before taking a group photo.

“There are a lot of different reasons [for this event taking place], Cadet Bauman brought up probably one of the best reasons, to raise awareness,” Zobler said. “The community is very sensitive. When someone passes it affects all of us, so the impact is felt across the community whether you knew that person or not.”