Vt. woman tries to win spot on elite US military team
Colchester, Vermont - July 22, 2011
A few Vermont soldiers are hoping to head to Poland for an international competition, pitting themselves against other NATO teams.
Ziven Drake, an Airman 1st Class in the Vermont Air National Guard, has earned a shot at making the team. The intensity of this challenge is something she hopes to overcome.
"I'm a runner," Drake explained. "It's a completely different ballgame to come up to an obstacle, think about how you're going to get over it, navigate over that obstacle, forget the obstacle that you've just done, move on to the next, plan your next route of attack, 20 times in a row is just, it's physically exhausting and it's mentally exhausting as well."
Drake has been training hard for the opportunity.
"These folks have been training for a long time. You may or may not know that more than 50 percent of them are Special Forces. It just happens to be that way. So they've been training in fitness all their lives. Certainly for most of a portion of their military careers," said Grant Staats, a U.S. Navy SEAL and the head coach of Team USA.
The obstacle course is part of a pentathlon to decide which elite athletes will go on to an international competition. The course is 500 meters long and has 20 different obstacles. There is also water obstacle course, two shooting events and a land navigation event. When they go to Poland to compete against 23 teams next week, they must also excel in combat first aid and know the laws of war.
Besides competing against some of the country's toughest soldiers for the honor of representing her country, Drake says she is representing her gender.
"Being a female in the military is pretty difficult. People are looking at you a little harder; scrutinizing everything you do," she said. "I learned really early in life not to be a weak female and this is a great opportunity to prove with myself and to prove to everybody else that women are capable of everything that men can do."
And at only 5'2" tall, she has added challenge. But all this simply has Drake excited to be representing Vermont, her unit and women in the military. She is happy to have finished the obstacle course.
"I made it. My goal was to not puke and not die, so here I am, not pukin' and still breathin,'" Drake said.
A tough woman indeed. Drake will find out by Sunday if she's made it.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:41 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:41:56 GMT
Former Bennington Rural Fire Department chief Joseph Hayes pleaded not guilty Monday to embezzlement charges stemming from a department-sponsored raffle when he was chief. Participants told police theyMore >>
A former chief at the Bennington Rural Fire Department faces embezzlement charges and 16 volunteers are in hot water over another incident. As allegations of misconduct stack up, some residents are worried about their safety.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:54:27 GMT
Court documents indicate New York's Chinese mafia may be involved in prostitution at a Chittenden County spa. Tuesday morning, landlord Thomas Booska pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge. A tenantMore >>
A landlord has denied charges related to prostitution at an alleged sex spa in Williston. And court documents indicate New York's Chinese Mafia may be involved in prostitution in Vermont.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:13 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:13:18 GMT
A Hopkinton, New York man is behind bars, accused of promoting prostitution. Police say Monday, they searched 60-year-old Dean Lamphere's house and business -- Lamphere's General Trucking and Repair.More >>
A Hopkinton, N.Y., man is behind bars, accused of promoting prostitution.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:00 AM EDT2013-06-18 14:00:51 GMT
A New Haven man says he was trying to stop another man from cutting down his neighbor's trees, but police say firing shots wasn't the way to do it. Police say on Sunday, 72-year-old David Milson firedMore >>
A New Haven man says he was trying to stop another man from cutting down his neighbor's trees, but police say firing shots wasn't the way to do it.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:09 AM EDT2013-06-18 14:09:41 GMT
A former state police trooper in prison for padding his timesheets will never serve as a police officer again in Vermont. The Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council voted to decertify Jim Deeghan asMore >>
A former state police trooper in prison for padding his time sheets will never serve as a police officer again in Vermont.More >>