Meet the team of five “Home Base Tough Ruckers” gearing up for the 2019 Tough Ruck in honor and in memory of Fallen Service Members, Police, Firefighters and EMTs! The team has been logging some serious hours at the gym at Home Base’s headquarters in the Charlestown Navy Yard in preparation for the Ruck, which will take place in Concord, MA, on April 14, 2019. Completion of the course is no easy feat; each participant must carry a minimum of 15 pounds in their “Ruck” from start to finish. The Ruck is held the Saturday before Boston Marathon Monday. The “Ruckers” are awarded the first of the official Boston Marathon Medals and receive recognition from the Boston Athletic Association.
Continue reading below to learn more about the Home Base Tough Ruck team.
“I served in the US Army from 2007-2011 as a Combat Medic. I was a paratrooper and assigned to 4th Brigade Combat Team 25th Infantry Division out if Fort Richardson Alaska. Assigned to 1st Squadron, 40th Cavalry. I deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 for twelve months. Performing as a line medic I went on over 300 missions, some in coordination with the Afghanistan Military. I’m training for the Tough Ruck in memory of the two service members who were killed in action during our 2009 deployment. PFC Nicolas Gideon and PFC Patrick Devoe. I also train for those we have taken their own lives post-deployment or after leaving the Army.” – Johnny Jarnagin
“Service from 1991- 2013 retired. I served as a track vehicle repairer from 91-93 and joined the MANG as an MP with the 972nd MP CO. Deployed for Operation Noble Eagle at Logan Airport 10/01 and then Operation Enduring Freedom May of 02. I ETSed after returning home March 03. When Operation Iraqi Freedom started I went back and joined the Air Guard as Security Forces and deployed with them Jan 07-Jun 07. I returned home and transferred from the Air Guard back to the MANG 972 MP CO and deployed once again in support of OIF 7/07-7/08. While with the 972 we were tasked with PSD for the Prime Minister of Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki.”
“The bonds that were made during my time in the military are by far stronger than any other I have ever experienced in life. The love I have for my brothers and sisters in arms has always been great and unwavering. Losing some of my best friends and having them taken so young has been difficult to overcome. I live to honor those that have been taken from us far too soon. I choose to forge forth weather through pain and suffering to honor those that have fallen.”
– Chris Physic
Ryan Vanderweit, MS, CSCS
“I enlisted right from high school in 2002, completing basic training at Ft. Benning, Georgia. In 2003 I deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as an 11C Indirect Infantry Mortarman. After my first enlistment, I changed my MOS to 21M Firefighter and went on to graduate from the Louis F. Garland Fire Academy at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, TX and serve as a Unit Fitness Coordinator and Firefighter Team Leader from 2006-2009 at Camp Navajo, AZ.
I am training to participate in the tough ruck to remember the fallen and support the mission to care for veterans returning home.” – Ryan Vanderweit, MS, CSCS, Home Base’s Warrior Health and Fitness Program Director
Chris Manzano, MPS, ATC, CSCS New England Warrior Health & Fitness Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist
“I am not a Veteran but come from a family with military roots. My interest in helping our Service Members began in 2012 when I started working as an athletic trainer at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing athletes, both military and civilian, in the athletic training and strength and conditioning settings. In 2016, I joined the Garden City Fire Department on Long Island, NY as a volunteer firefighter to serve my community while understanding the physical and mental demands of the tactical athlete.
I am training for the Tough Ruck to honor the fallen and their families, to support our first responders, as well as continuing Home Base’s mission of caring for our Service Members and Veterans.”
-Chris Manzano, MPS, ATC, CSCS, New England Warrior Health & Fitness Athletic Trainer and Strength and Conditioning Specialist
“I initially went to college to study pharmacy in 2006, but without any desire to be there (or real interest in chemistry), I dropped out and enlisted in the Army where I completed basic training and infantry school at Ft. Benning GA in 2007. My proudest moment during my service was receiving my American citizenship in Afghanistan on June 3rd, 2010. After my last tour in Iraq, I decided to go back to college. I completed my BS in Economics at Gatton in 2014 and am currently a master’s candidate for Analytics and Statistical Modeling at Northeastern University.
I am training for the tough ruck to honor SFC Carlos Santos-Silva, PV2 Kyle Feck, SGT William Bray, SGT Randy Sigley, SGT Joseph Rectin, and PV2 Wesley Powel, SPC Zachary Flower.”