JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro Police Department SWAT Team members left for Memphis Monday night for a challenge that few have the stomach to take on: The GORUCK Challenge.
The group left from JPD at 8 o'clock Monday after loading up rucksacks full of bricks, food and water.
It's a 45lb bag they'll have to carry the entire 12 hours of the GORUCK Challenge. SWAT Team Member, Dr. Spencer Guinn explains that things kick off with physical training for a few hours.
"Push ups, sit ups, burpees, running, bear crawls all that and the entire time you're carrying a rucksack," Guinn explained. Hours of PT are followed up with team challenges.
"You've gotta have a can-do attitude," SWAT Team Member, Jason Chester explained. "You've gotta rely on your team mates and team members at all times."
The team reaches further than just the group of guys undertaking the GORUCK Challenge though. They're going through this physically and mentally demanding challenge to help a former SWAT member.
"His wife was recently diagnosed with cancer," Guinn explained.
Tonya Hankins, whose story we told you about in July, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her husband, Chris, a former JPD SWAT Team leader.
"Someone's been on the police department, someone's been on the SWAT team, they're a member of a group even if they leave and take a new job and go on," Guinn said.
It goes back to "never leave a team member behind". A mentality that will become so obvious to these men during their grueling 12 hour challenge.
It's a message they want to deliver through blood, sweat and maybe even tears to the Hankins' as Chris and Tonya take on the biggest challenge of their lives together.
"Everybody's eventually going to realize that you can't do it by yourself," Chester said. "Eventually, everybody needs somebody else to help them out."
To help out, the SWAT Team raised $1,500 for the Hankins family to help with expenses. The money was donated from businesses and individuals alike.