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'New Life Meets Old': Bergen Army Cadet Unites Police, SWAT, Military To Boost Local Charities

Brendan Brown of Wyckoff (left) a U.S. Army cadet, organized Battle of the Warriors. He is pictured here with peer John Linden warming up. Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
Wood-Ridge Police Officer Jeff Geisler Photo Credit: Cecilia Levine
The teams unite for good. Photo Credit: Glenn Pagano

For a while, Parisi Speed School in Fair Lawn was Brendan Brown's second home.

The Wyckoff native trained and interned there -- fostering a close bond with owner Rich Sadiv, other employees and members.

West Point Military Academy, however, became Brown's new second home after graduating from  Ramapo High School in 2016.

The cadet found a reason to bring his two worlds together on Saturday, creating the first ever Battle of the Warriors at Parisi, which pit his peers against Bergen County law enforcement and SWAT team member, with a common goal of raising money for local nonprofit organizations.

"It is truly awesome to be back for this event," said Brown, a powerlifter. "I've been training here for so long and my relationship with Rich is so special. He's become a great friend and mentor.

"Now, it's like my old life is meeting my new life -- building relationships. That's what this is all about and why it's truly so special."

Battle of the Warriors had SWAT team members, police officers and cadets competing against each other in 10 different fitness events ranging from strict pull-ups to heavy deadlifts.

Each team chose their own beneficiaries:

  • Paramus PBA (representing Bergen County law enforcement): RBARI in Oakland.
  • U.S. Army cadets -- comprised of four teams: Legacies Alive, launched by one of the school's football coaches.
  • Bergen County Regional SWAT Team: Tomahawk Charitable Solutions
  • Parisi School: Best Buddies.

The funds were still being counted as of Saturday evening.

West Point Officer in Command Capt. Anthony Tankiewicz said Brown's execution of Battle of the Warriors speaks to his dedication as a cadet.

"It's not just about being strong and physically fit," he said.

"The goal is to eventually be Army officers and good leaders, the social aspect is a big part of it too. Events like this one is a good opportunity for the guys to work on coordination and planning they'll need as officers."

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