Coeur d’Alene’s McEuen Park will be the battleground for the Idaho Army National Guard’s second CDA Warrior Challenge on Sept. 22.
The Challenge pits trainees of the Post Falls-based National Guard unit against each other in several athletic and military tasks to become “Top Spartan,” the unit’s top honor.
“The intent of this challenge is to inspire young soldiers to dig down deep and find that fire inside of themselves,” said Master Sgt. Sean Rash, the senior noncommissioned officer in charge of training the unit. “Before they even go to Army basic training, they can prove themselves, do something extraordinary. And, they’ll be doing it in public, like any athlete who competes in a local event.”
Park patrons of all ages can join in the events non-competitively, as well as several other activities hosted by the National Guard, such as paintball and archery tag. Large military vehicles and automatic weapons will also be on display. Patrons can ask National Guardsmen about the mechanics of a Humvee, or feel how heavy a machine gun is.
“It promises to be a giant, fun event for families,” said Sgt. 1st Class Dannie Swanson, one of the organizers. “We have a lot of support from the local units, and these soldiers really enjoy the opportunity to interact and explain their day-to-day duties in the National Guard. And also, it helps build that bond with the community, so they know how we support them.”
CDA Warrior Challenge will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is not required. All events are free.