At 36 years old, Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was set to retire shortly after a mission to Yemen. He was a brother of four, a father to three young kids, and a son to two loving parents.
Then in January 2017, he lost his life during a raid.
“He was more than a hero or Navy SEAL,” his father, Bill Owens, said. “He was a wonderful person who had a full life.”
To honor his memory, his brother and fellow Navy SEAL John Owens created the Naked Warrior Project, a non-profit foundation created to memorialize Navy SEALs and special operations personnel lost in battle, while supporting their families and the community.
Now, the Naked Warrior Project along with the Institute of Human Performance (IHP)—a personal training studio to Navy SEAL Team 6 along with professional athletes and Boca residents—are hosting a six-hour military-themed charity challenge in Deerfield Beach on June 30 from 3 to 9 p.m. The entry fee is $99, and 100 percent of the funds will go to the Naked Warrior Project.
“You show yourself what you can do when you push yourself,” said Andy Sziraki, a personal trainer at IHP. “You come out a better person.”
Participants will work together as a team to complete “military-themed missions,” such as moving from point A to B avoiding simulated sniper fire and IEDs, completing ocean-rescue-themed missions and carrying other participants that have been selected as “wounded,” all while wearing a 20- to 50-pound rucksack.
Participants will be led by U.S Army veteran and IHP’s tactical training specialist Braden Smith, United States Marine and Patriot Sports Nutrition co-founder Phil Krizmanich, and John Owens.
Owens came up with the idea for the event when he read about rucks in a fitness magazine. He then reached out to Sziraki to see if they could make this event happen locally.
The event will take place at Fire Station #75 on 71 SE 21st Ave. in Deerfield Beach. Participants are recommended to bring a rucksack, water bottle, multi-tool, paracord, duct tape, and anything else that could be of help to their team. They should be somewhat in shape to participate in the event, but they will be working as a team, which should make the tough physical activity easier.
The Naked Warrior Project will also have a second annual memorial run for Ryan Owens in November. To learn more about the Naked Warrior Project and to sign up for the events, go to nakedwarriorproject.org.