"I am a member of my Nation's chosen soldiery,
I serve quietly, not seeking recognition or accolades."
These words are but a part of the Special Forces creed that SGT Timothy Padgett, SF Medic lived by. May 8, 2007 SGT Padgett gave his life for his country, leaving behind a daughter, his mother, father, brother and sister.
On May 27, 2013 teammates of SGT Padgett will run in his honor at the 28th Annual Gate to Gate Memorial Day 4.4 mile run at Eglin AFB.
SGT Timothy Padgett's military unit have gone the extra mile by supporting his family since his death.
"I will never leave a fallen comrade."
There are two major aspects to the SOWF's mission:
1. If you are serving in the U.S. military special operations community, and you lose your life in an operational mission or training accident, the Warrior Foundation will ensure your children receive a full college education, including tuition, books, fees, room & board, computer and printer.
2. If you are severely wounded while deployed, the Warrior Foundation will provide immediate financial assistance and support to ensure your loved ones can be at your bedside during your recovery. The SOWF provides a $3,000 stipend to help offset unexpected expenses.
SGT Padgett has a daughter. Sadly, she will never have to worry about affording a college education. Perhaps now I have a better understanding of why Keith has chosen to fundraise for this
particular charitable organization.
For nearly 14 years Keith Batcheldor has called the Army home. I asked if he would explain the type of work he does.
"I am a member of a Special Forces Underwater Operations Detachment. It is composed of 12 green berets that have the additional skill set of being a combat diver. (One in three students will not complete the course)
It is one of the most physically and mentally demanding courses in the military, and sets the team members apart from the other green berets in the unit.
In addition, each team member has a occupational specialty, mine being demolitions."
SGT Padgett served as an SF Medic . He served alongside Keith and other members of a Special Forces Underwater Operations Detachment.
Before SGT Padgett joined the military he was a former firefighter and paramedic with the South Walton Fire District in Florida.
" I serve with the memory of those who have gone before me.
I pledge to uphold the honor and integrity of their legacy in all that I am - in all that I do." SF Creed
Keith has put together a 4 man team of runners who have been training for this 4.4 mile run while deployed. You can see the photos of their "gym" that was available to them while deployed.
Keith had hoped to see the fundraiser at $5,000.....they are getting close.......before his unit comes home.
That's right, they are currently deployed (just heard they are back stateside now!). In order to train for the race, they had to carve time out of their free time between missions, sleep, downtime and a multitude of other responsibilities they were dealing with.
In order to bring home the trophy, this is how Keith explained what they need to do.
"In order for the team to win, the team has to have the lowest average time. We do not need to finish as a group. There are several professional runners that will undoubtedly beat us, but the team event is only open to the military units. We feel based on previous race times, we will individually place in the top 50 out of 2000 runners."
The 4.4 mile run will be done at close to a sprint for most of the runners! Keith can already do one 5 minute mile. They are hoping to be around 5:30 per mile.
"We trained as much as we could, but setting a daily routine is almost impossible. We utilized the free time we have to get the most efficient workout possible because we may miss 2-3 days at a time. Even though we are not “training” every day, walking and running around with at least 80 lbs of body armor and military gear on your shoulders helps keep us in shape."
Was your camp located high up in the mountains, making elevation an issue when it came to training? If so, do you think that might give you an advantage when you run the race?
"We wish we would have had the elevation to use to our advantage, but no, we were training at sea level."
Proper diet and a good routine are essential.
"Well, first and foremost, we try and keep a clean diet! We do a lot of interval runs on the treadmills (we do a quarter mile sprint followed by a recover ¼ mile jog), stationary bike riding, and rowing. In addition, we maintain a weight lifting regimen that consists of high reps and low weight.
Other than that, we do a lot of circuit training that keeps the heart rate up and builds endurance. The weather has climbed into the 90s the last two weeks so we have been training out in the heat to add a little more difficulty.
We have not competed as a team before in the event due to other military obligations. Several of us have competed in races, but never as a team. We train together in garrison, whether
we are biking, swimming, running, or lifting weights. We are confident is each other’s abilities as some of us have trained and worked together for the last seven years."
Keith and his team are running, first and foremost to honor SGT Timothy Padgett and secondly to fundraise and contribute to SOWF in SGT Padgett's honor!
With your help, they can still bring in enough donations to hit the $10,000 mark. These warriors do things that most would deem impossible. There is no fanfare over their accomplishments. Rarely if ever, do you hear about their work. You might read about a teammate who has been critically injured or when they are killed in combat. They quietly go about doing what needs to be done and then they come home.
They ARE counting on YOU and ME and others just like us to help them out with a donation. It can be as small as $1 or a $1,000. Each dollar given is important. You can remain totally anonymous or not, as you choose. Help spread the word about this fundraiser! Help Keith and his teammates to honor SGT Timothy "Hee Haw" Padgett.
Tim was a country boy. He had a great southern drawl and we nicknamed him “Hee Haw”. He embraced the nickname and always had a smile on his face. He lived in the country and had so many backwoods stories that he loved to tell.
One time we were training in Nevada during the winter time and the temperature was right above freezing. We took advantage of some down time and took out our ATVs for some cross country riding. We were racing around and he saw a large puddle that he wanted to drive through. We thought he was going to drive right through it, and maybe worst case, he would get wet.
He took off as fast as he could and got about half way through the puddle before it got really deep. The ATV bogged down and flipped him over the handlebars into the puddle. The ATV was completely submerged under water. Tim was drenched from head to toe and covered in mud.
We ran over to see if he was OK. He was in the mud laughing hysterically. We were upset because we spent an hour in the cold water pulling the ATV out.
Tim just stood there laughing and shivering because he was so cold. We finally got him out and headed back for the night. That is how we always remember Tim.
He was a positive person, could make the best of a bad situation, and always had a smile on his face no matter how bad the situation.
Be sure to keep checking the site for daily updates on the team's workouts now that Keith and all are back home!