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This page is dedicated to the extraordinary individuals who with the help of CATCH A LIFT have committed to rebuilding and maintaining their physical/mental health and wellness, despite the many obstacles they have faced. They are heroes to America on and off the battlefields.

Over the next year we will be following Joshua, one of our CAL VET's and his journey through daily life using fitness.

Hello, My name is Joshua, I am an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, TBI, loss of hearing, and injuries to both knees. I am also a father, a husband, an outdoorsman, a certified personal trainer, and a CAL member. I have been asked by CAL to share my story of accomplishment. This is not a war story, but rather a story of what has taken place in my life since coming home from war. My only wish is that my story will help other veterans to know that there is always hope regardless of what is going on at that very moment when it seems all hope is lost.

After being honorably discharged from the military I continued to eat as if I was still waking up at 4:30 a.m. to do PT, well I wasn't and after a few weeks it showed. For years I remained overweight, about 265 lbs and felt terrible.

Since being out of the military my father and my wife passed away. There were alot of things left unsaid in both of those relationships. Eventually I remembered that I felt really good when I was physically fit. My thinking was sharper, my decisions were more precise, and my mood was uplifted. So I began to go to the gym. I got a personal trainer, and started losing weight. I started feeling better, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I went from 265 to 210 in a short period of time. I loved the feeling of being in good shape so much I became a personal trainer.

Now I live in a small town in Colorado on 80 acres. I hunt, I train horses, and I raise and train hunting dogs. I stay busy running my ranch but on a daily basis I go to my garage where my personal gym is and I workout because I sincerely believe that none of the other stuff would be possible if I had not made the change in my life to become more physically fit.

I look forward to sharing my experiences over the next year or so.

Thank you, Joshua

James, Jesse IN (SGT Marines)

After about 8 years serving as a combat engineer in the Marine Corps I was unable to improve my severe PTSD and TBI and was medically retired as a Sgt. I served two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan, all three tours where I was injured by multiple IED blasts. The cumulative damage has caused extensive injuries. Because of these injuries I am not able to leave my home often and use a service dog when I do have to, which makes working out at a gym very difficult. I would like to thank Catch A Lift Fund for the wonderful gift of gym equipment, allowing me to work out in my home and achieve my fitness and health goals that I know will continue to help in my rehabilitation.

Youngs Jesse MD (Army)

My name is Jesse Youngs. I am a 33 year old Iraq veteran. I served on active duty for four years with the 326 EN/BN out of Ft. Campbell, KY and am currently serving as a Reservist with the 11/80th OCT/BN out of Fort Belvoir, VA. I live in Baltimore with my amazing family – my wife Ami and our 18 month old son, Spencer—and we are expecting another child in August. Due to injuries and corrective surgeries sustained while on active duty, I was unable to remain on active duty and maintain my regular work-out regiment. Returning to the gym with my wife as my workout partner will not only provide me with support and motivation to regain my physique and maintain my recovery from surgery, but will also benefit my wife during her pregnancy and post-partum period and will allow my son the opportunity to socialize with other children in the childcare center. Thanks to Catch a Lift and their funders, I am looking forward to returning to a more physically active lifestyle that includes my entire family. I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for this opportunity and the wonderful people that have helped me through the application process at Catch a Lift.


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