Cassandra and Elizabeth first met while they were both stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Great Falls, Montana in 2003 and instantly became close friends. Elizabeth was given a temporary duty assignment at the main Base Visitors centers away from working security for nuclear weapons while pregnant with her first child. Cassandra was the Assistant Non- Commissioned Officer of the Visitors Center. Casey enjoyed talking to Liz's belly daily and driving Liz to Dairy Queen to help with the Blizzard cravings. They also became workout buddies during this time. Liz's child, Emilee, spent her first Christmas with Casey and her husband Jorge while both her parents were in the missile field providing nuclear security. Not long after, Elizabeth received orders to work law enforcement at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado. And just months later Casey received the same orders and they were united again.
Now Liz was working out hard and had a few months advantage on Casey being acclimated to the 7,000 feet elevation change already. They would constantly push each other and both tried to out do each other. When the guys were playing basketball for PT, Liz and Casey were doing handstand push ups and seeing who could do more flutter kicks. Liz left in October 2014 for a 9 month deployment to Camp Bucca Detainment Facility, Iraq. Casey left for Afghanistan after Liz returned from Iraq. Even though they were not deployed together they were each others support through it all. They had each others backs the whole time.
Liz and Casey separated from the Air Force in 2007. They both were diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from their deployments in combat. Eventually they ended up 1,700 miles apart, but still managed to call every Friday to check in. A couple years later Casey was diganosed with multiple sclerosis which started effecting her daily life between managing pain and trying to stay active. At the same time, Liz was struggling with a respiratory issue no one seemed to be able to treat. Soon neither seemed to workout much at all. Not being active started to really put them both in a deeper depression than just dealing with PTSD.
In 2013, Casey finally got pregnant after years of trying. Liz couldn't let her win the baby making contest, so she decided to grow her family as well. Casey won though after giving birth to triplets.
Now they were both way more out of shape than ever. Liz became a volunteer leader for the national non-profit Team Red, White and Blue. As Athletic Director in Vegas she would organize events like running and hiking. She thought that was good enough to stay active though she wasn't getting in better shape. Casey started CrossFit and kept telling Liz she would love it. Casey was getting in shape and stronger every day. Liz thought CrossFit was just a bunch of tire flipping meat heads and refused to try. Until one day in late 2016 she got an email from Nick McCombs. He was starting a non-profit CrossFit gym with his fiancé Whitney. They were looking for disabled servicemembers interested in training for free. Well Liz had no excuse not to try and in February 2017 she participated in her first WOD. It was killer, but she loved it. Casey was right. The CrossFit community was just what she needed. The camaraderie and support was just like she had in the Air Force. In less than a year Liz dropped 30 lbs and was stronger than she had ever been while in the military. The most important thing about Casey and Liz doing CrossFit was the mental change. Depression and anxiety decreased, improving their mental health. Being a Branded One athlete has kept Liz striving for a healthy lifestyle mentally and physically and she would've never done it without her Battle Sister pushing her to start.
Please make a donation if you can to help support the daily battle veterans like Liz and Casey continue to fight against mental health disorders and a phiscal injuries received while serving this country.