MEMORIAL DAY WOD – “LION OF FALLUJAH”
In honor of Memorial Day. Get Tough Fitness will honoring a great man. A brave marine who fought valiantly not only for this country but for the men he swore to protect. A man everyone loved and respected. He gave it his 100% day and night. To honor him we will do it right and we will main the integrity of the WOD. I am posting regressions for others who cannot do the back squat. This WOD will be done on either a Saturday-Sunday-Monday on Memorial Day weekend as well as during Memorial day. Contact me for class schedule. All proceeds will be donated to a USMC foundation, Fallen Hero foundation, Green Beret Foundation, Team Red White and Blue (RWB), or the Hope for The Warriors group. Non GT members are welcome to join us. $15.00 for the class. There will be added stuff to this so be ready to embrace the suck for an hour or more. Honor a real American hero. Live your life to the fullest and always push yourself to grow!
“The Lion of Fallujah”
Major Douglas Zembiec, USMC
April 14, 1973-May 11, 2007
Fair winds. Following seas.
11 Push Up to Jump (Strict Burpees)
7 Back Squats (185/123) / double kettlebell rack squats (40/20)
34 Pull Ups
By Pamela Zembiec
Let the truth be known that there are many ways to describe Doug Zembiec, otherwise known as The Lion of Fallujah, but in my eyes and in those that knew him he wasn’t just a marine, he was The Marine. From the age of 11, Doug knew he would lead men in battle by being part of, in my opinion and his, the most powerful military division in the United States of America, the Marine Corps. He began his quest for greatness when he became New Mexico’s state high school wrestling champion in 1990 and 1991. Following high school, he entered The United States Naval Academy as a collegiate wrestler compiling a 95-21-1 record and becoming an NCAA Champion all in the midst of preparing himself for his true calling…the Marine Corps. Doug told me one day, “I wrestled only for mental toughness in preparation for becoming a Marine.”
And a marine was what he became… making it through The Basic School on to Infantry Officer’s School and then finally passing the Force Reconnaissance indoctrination. Doug’s goals were all coming to fruition. The goals he wrote down every day, every week and every month. He said time and time again, “A goal is merely a dream until it is written down.”
The tragedy on 9/11 only heightened his sense for protecting our country from its enemies and when he was sent to Fallujah, Iraq in 2004, he and his marines fought like Lions as they helped the Iraqi citizens in their quest for establishing a democracy. He was named the “Lion of Fallujah” as a result of his heroic actions leading Echo Company 2/1 during Operation Vigilant Resolve. In Doug’s own words, “battling the insurgents was the greatest day of my life. I never felt so alive, so exhilarated, so purposeful. There is nothing equal to combat, and there is no greater honor than to lead men into combat. Once you’ve dealt with life and death like that, it gives you a whole new perspective.”
Doug was on his fourth tour in Iraq when he was killed by small arms fire while leading a raid in Baghdad on May 11, 2007. He was leading a unit of Iraqi forces he had helped train. The initial radio report indicated, “five wounded and one martyred.”
He was serving his fourth combat tour in Iraq when he was killed by small arms fire while leading a raid in Baghdad on May 11, 2007. Zembiec was leading a unit of Iraqi forces he had helped train. Reports from fellow servicemen that were present in the dark Baghdad alley where he was killed indicate that he’d warned his troops to get down before doing so himself and was hit by enemy fire. The initial radio report indicated “five wounded and one martyred” with Major Zembiec having been killed and his men saved by his warning. On May 16, 2007, a funeral mass was held at the Naval Academy Chapel and later that day he was interred at Arlington National Cemetery, Grave Number 8621, Section Number 60. Zembiec is buried only a few yards away from his Naval Academy classmate, Major Megan McClung. McClung was the first female Marine Corps officer killed in combat during the Iraq War, and first female graduate in the history of the Naval Academy to be killed in action.
In July 2007, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates publicly lost his composure showing a rare glimpse of emotion from senior political leadership while discussing Major Zembiec during a speech. Major Zembiec was also prominently featured in a high profile Wall Street Journal column in September 2007. In November 2007, Zembiec’s high school Alma Mater, La Cueva High School, inducted him as the charter member of their Hall of Fame and named the wrestling room in his honor. The NCAA announced that Zembiec would be awarded the 2008 NCAA Award of Valor. In January 2008, General David Petraeus, Commanding General Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) dedicated the Helipad at Camp Victory located at Baghdad International Airport in Zembiec’s name. He referred to Zembiec as a “a true charter member of the brotherhood of the close fight.”” Douglas Zembiec is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Don Zembiec, brother, and his wife and daughter, Pamela and Fallyn.
One thing is certain, Doug Zembiec may have only lived 34 years, but he lived each day like it was his last, never having any regrets and always staying positive, energized and focused. His spirit continues to live on through many people, events, awards, etc. However, let there be no doubt, he was as strong as steel and as we all struggle through this painful WOD remember this temporary pain is exactly that… only temporary. Doug Zembiec’s contribution to our country and our freedom is FOREVER.
I will leave you with a few of his words that described how he lived his life…
“Be a man of principle. Fight for what you believe in. Keep your word. Live with integrity. Be brave. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Serve your country. Teach. Mentor. Give something back to society. Lead from the front. Conquer your fears. Be a good friend. Be humble and self-confident. Appreciate your friends and family. Be a leader not a follower. Be valorous on the field of battle. And take responsibility for your actions.”
Anyone can Google his name and find them all, and if you knew Doug he wouldn’t like it. You see, he never bragged about himself, rarely spoke of what he did or what he was, he only spoke of others and how great they were to him.
PS From Lindsay: For more information on Major Doug Zembiec, check out this link. Or, as Pam said, you can Google his name. Doug was an amazing Marine, man, husband and father. I wish I could have met him; but I’m proud to know Pam, and to have her as a member of BSSP.