GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE RECREACTION CAMP, Texas --
The 17th Force Support Squadron hosted the Polar Bear Plunge swim and run Feb. 24, at the Goodfellow Air Force Base Recreation Camp in San Angelo, Texas.
This marks the 17th year for the event, and the second year with the run. The event centered around the “plunge” where members jump into the cold lake and race across the water. Other activities included painting ceramic figurines and a s’mores party by a fire to warm up.
Col. Alex Ganster, 17th Training Group commander, and Lt. Col. Yukio Kuniyuki, 344th Military Intelligence Battalion commanding officer, kicked off the swim with the traditional dumping of ice in the lake before taking the plunge themselves.
Champions from last year, the Army, lost the largest participants trophy to the 312th Training Squadron, although they did represent by having members win both male and female trophies for fastest runners during the event.
“I thought we had it this year,” said Pvt. Crecencio Yennie, 344th MI BN trainee. “We brought pretty much everyone we had out with us. Being from Minnesota, the water was very refreshing, not that cold. I jumped in a second time just to enjoy it.”
A variety of service members and their families came out to enjoy the festivities, including commanders, chiefs and trainees.
“This was awesome, it was a great day for it,” said Airman 1st Class Bodie McLin, 312th TRS trainee. “We had a good turnout, it was pretty much perfect.”
Despite the water being cold, a 72 degree day made it easier for the competitors to warm up after taking the plunge.
“This has been a tradition for the base for many years,” said Ganster. “In previous years it hasn’t been as nice out as it was today, but we always get a big group of people who come out.”