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.
In the military – physicality is a way of life. Much of what you must do is predicated upon leading others from the front. To suffer severe traumatic injury takes away a large part of your identity.
Post injury – the help of PT’s and OT’s at Walter Reed helped me begin the journey back towards some sense of normalcy through daily sessions.
This was instrumental in regaining my independence – which lead to confidence in myself - allowing for an easier transition to my future – whatever this may be.
The support of The Catch a Lift Fund has enabled me to not only adjust to my new life, but thrive in it. Catch a Lift has given me the ability to train for competition and improve my everyday quality of life.
One of the most altruistic organizations I have come across post injury. Catch A Lift isn’t pushing an agenda or training regime upon its participants. It is for anyone who is dedicated to living a healthy life.
Being physically fit has always been a major factor in my life. While serving in the Army for the past five years, I have been able to stay both physically fit and mentally strong. After suffering wounds while deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, my life changed dramatically. Learning how to walk and run again, became my two biggest priorities in life. After working hard day after day with the staff at Walter Reed, I was ready to start moving on to bigger and better things in my life. One of the many things was to be able to get back into the gym again. This is when I was introduced to Lynn and the Catch A Lift fund; they worked with a near-by gym and covered my membership for a year, with no strings attached. Thanks to Catch A Lift and their great vision for wounded veterans, I am now able to work out on a daily basis, which allowed me to gain my strength back again and to become more confident with myself. I would just like to thank the whole Catch A Lift Foundation personally for all of their hard work and dedication towards the returning wounded veterans. Thanks a lot, Matthew White.