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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

Vigil, Leonard CA (Marines Sgt. )

In the military we always incorporated some type of physical activity in our daily routines. From going to the gym, running, hiking, wrestling, to playing football or basketball. These activities improved the quality of our lives and made us feel better. Working out kept us healthy and physically fit. As a veteran, I lacked the resources available to maintain a healthy lifestyle until Catch A Lift Fund stepped in. They have worked with a local gym in my city and have provided me with a year membership. I now have the sources available to get fit.

On July 1st 2004 Sgt. Leonard Vigil (USMC) has hit by a volley of roadside bombs. He suffered Traumatic Brain Injury and shrapnel to his left hand. Despite his own injuries he was able to provide first aid to the wounded marines and security, until they were medically evacuated. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a medal for Valor for the actions he took for his squad after the blast.

   

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