U. S. Army Sergeant First Class Kenneth "Westy" Westbrook, of Shiprock, New Mexico, while serving as a combat advisor, assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Ft. Riley, KS, died on October 7, 2009, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. He sustained gunshot wounds when insurgents ambushed his patrol September 8, 2009, in Ganjigal Valley, Afghanistan, .
He is survived by his wife Charlene, three sons, Zachary, Joshua and Joseph, his parents, Ruth and Marshall Westbrook, two brothers David and Richard and sister, Sandra. Ken’s older brother, Marshall Westbrook, of the New Mexico Army National Guard was killed in action in Iraq on October 1, 2005 when an IED detonated on his patrol.
We will do this workout in remembrance of Westy every September 8th & October 7th . Although the quicker you finish is a great indicator of fitness, speed is not the focus. Be deliberate and focus on control. Just do one more repetition until you complete the workout.
This workout is in honor of Westy, my CrossFit buddy. We met the summer of 2008 at Ft. Riley, Kansas when Team Avalanche, our 16-man Embedded Transition Team (ETT) formed to prepare for deployment. Everyone liked Westy. He was very competent yet humble and always good-spirited. We liked to talk about fishing, hunting and our love for the outdoors.
While in theater, TM Avalanche's mission was to conduct operations with six separate battalions of Afghan Border Police (ABP) along a 480 kilometer stretch of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Our team divided into six 2-man teams to embed with each ABP battalion, with Air Force, Marine, Navy, ABP and Afghan National Army (ANA) counterparts to operate in joint/combined teams. While on mission September 8, 2009, Westy sustained gunshot wounds to his face and neck when insurgents ambushed his patrol in Ganjgal Valley that left 3 Marines, 1 Navy Corpsman and 8 Afghan National Army servicemen dead. Marine SGT Dakota Meyer & CPT Will "Princess" Swenson were both awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions that day.
Ken was flown to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC and died of complications from his wounds. He died October 7, 2009 in the arms of his wife, Char Westbrook. Westy was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions September 8, 2009. He once confided in his wife, "If I should not come home…don’t forget about me.”
Videos below describe that fateful morning September 8, 2009.