In honor of a local soldier who was killed in Afghanistan on September 21, a Kimberton-based fitness business is holding a free mid-morning Memorial Boot Camp fundraiser on Nov. 17 at Charlestown Park in Phoenixville.
Staff Sergeant Liam J. Nevins, who turned 32 on Sept. 11, 2013, lost his life in a small arms fire attack in Gardez, Paktia Province, Afghanistan while on his fifth combat deployment. Nevins, a member of the Special Forces, lived in North Coventry and attended Owen J. Roberts High School before later graduating from Bristol Borough High School in Bucks County in 2000. He had grown up always wanting to be a member of the Special Forces and joined the United States Army through the Delayed Entry Program.
“My little brother was an awesome person,” said Nevins’ sister Raven Henin. “A lot of people looked up to him because he went full bore at every opportunity, which is why he accomplished so much. He would drop everything to go and help people.”
Nevins was a huge inspiration to his Henin and was very encouraging about her fitness training, always giving her ideas and advice. About one year ago, Henin began training with Carolyn Grashof of Fitbody Personal Training to prepare herself for participation in one of the popular ‘Spartan’ obstacle races. As the training went on Henin and Grashof became good friends.
“Raven Henin is one of my boot camp clients who has been participating in my classes for the past year. The boot camp classes generally consist of a small group of individuals (who) get to know each other on a more personal level,” Grashof wrote in an email to The Phoenix Reporter & Item. “When I found out about Raven’s brother Liam, I felt compelled and moved to do something for Raven and her family to honor Liam and his service. His death brought deep sadness and also gratitude for those who serve and have served our country selflessly in order to preserve our freedom.”
So it was that the inaugural ‘Memorial Boot Camp in Honor of SSG Liam J. Nevins’ was announced by Fitbody Personal Training.
The event is on Sunday, Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Charlestown Park located at Township Line Road and Cold Stream Road Phoenixville, PA. Members of the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Company Station 68 will be on hand to babysit for parents who would like to participate. The two-hour program is a free fitness event for people of all fitness levels, and will be accepting donations for the Special Forces Charitable Trust. Henin herself will be present to participate in the Memorial Boot Camp, and all participants are asked to come dressed in ‘their best camo’.
According to its website, www.specialforcescharitabletrust.org, the Special Forces Charitable Trust honors and supports the active-duty and veteran Green Berets nationwide. It is the primary resource center, who ensures timely and consistent support and services to the Special Forces Association’s 9,500 members, the SF National Guard units, active-duty and veteran Green Berets and their families.
Donations will be accepted at the Memorial Boot Camp , make your check payable to the Special Forces Charitable Trust, and online donations in honor of SSG Liam J. Nevins can be made by going to www.specialforcescharitabletrust.org.
“We chose the Special Forces Charitable Trust because Liam’s unit in Colorado would work close with them,” said Henin. “They helped contribute to his reception too, and so we want to support them in his memory. This is not just about my brother. It is about the people who belong to the military in general. My brother always said to keep one foot forward, to keep moving. This is a way to get out and express thanks to those who serve our county and a way to have fun and give back.”
Henin provided the following thoughts on her brother from a memorial tribute written by Trevor his Team Sergeant and Friend. In it, Trevor is talking about the night Liam was shot in the hand and arm while on a mission which occurred just a few weeks prior to the shooting which took his life.
“In America today there are legions of people rushing to make themselves out to be victims of some often imagined injustice. It is a behavior that in many ways has corrupted the soul of our nation. There is no room for that attitude in the Special Forces, and there was no room for that attitude with Liam. Seriously wounded, the unit still in contact, Liam’s only thought was disappointment that he couldn’t do more for his brothers, and more for his nation.”
For more information on the event send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Carolyn Grashof at (610) 209-8047.