Sgt Bart N, Marine Combat Warrior
My name is Sgt Bart N, Marine Combat Warrior. I joined the Marine Corps in 1994 and faithfully completed my 10 years tour of duty in 2004. I served 2 combat tours in Iraq. In 2012 I was diagnosed with an invisible but powerful disease known as PTSD. For many years PTSD impacted my ability to make sound decisions, I had a rough and complicated adjustment to civilian life.
As a Marine, staying fit was everything but unfortunately after I left the service I lost the motivation and high confidence that I once had and enjoyed. I hit rock bottom when I looked myself at the mirror weighing 210 lbs, 65 lbs over my max military weight. I was a rising star and sadly years later I found myself with 65 lbs of heavy depression, anxiety and bad thoughts.
I found out about Operation Stay Fit For 22 and their partners and immediately connected with the brotherhood that I needed to once again be that Marine, that Marine that I felt so proud of.
Stay Fit For 22 gave me the opportunity to obtain a FREE 3 month membership at Gold’s Gym in Harlingen, TX. It took me a long time to actually enjoy going to the gym but once I’ve seen results physically and mentally I found myself enjoying it even more. The way the gym makes me relax and forget about everything going on right then, is the best feeling in the world. It not only relaxes my mind, it also gives me great sense of accomplishment.
I lost 60 lbs.
I started running short and long distances.
I started cycling long distances with a local group.
To continue with my exercise routine and inspire others Veterans in their fitness recovery.
SGT Noe De La Fuente Jr., Army Combat Veteran
My name is SGT Noe De La Fuente Jr. I am a Army Combat Veteran served one tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from December 2003 to March 2005. I joined in July 1999 to serve my country. During that time, the engagements during the war left me with unseen battle scars. Iraq was still unstable and we fought to improve the country overtime. When I came back, I was a lean 205 lbs., fighting machine.
Well, the return to civilian life in one week after re-integration at Fort Bliss was quick in March 2005. It was exciting to be home and at the same time difficult. In 11 years, I have packed on 85 lbs. It may not seem a lot over the course of the years, but being unhealthy has led to higher blood pressure, sleep apnea, higher cholesterol, and PTSD issues.
The Gold’s Gym exercise program for 12 weeks in support of veterans was great. I dropped 10 lbs, and was able to run ¾ of a mile nonstop. Gains in health come daily in small steps. It is a start and Gold’s Gym helped me.
Furthermore, I got my daughter to sign up for a membership for one year and also purchased the trainer services for her. This was a great start for me and my daughter. One step at a time, one day at a time, that will lead to a lifetime of better living! Thanks Gold’s Gym for being the spark!