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Recruit Loses 230lbs to Enlist in the US Army.


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Recruit loses 230 pounds to enlist in Army

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Army News Service, Nov. 3, 2005) -- When a recruiter stopped by to talk to his son, Roderick Evans was the one sold on the military. A home health care specialist in Detroit, Mich., Evans had a passion for helping others and a desire to make a difference. A military medical career sounded like a perfect fit.

The recruiter, on the other hand, saw a different picture. He took one look at Evans and said, "You're just too big."

At 5 feet, 7 inches and 418 pounds, Evans could hardly disagree.

But instead of easing the rejection with his usual overdose of comfort foods, the self-proclaimed Snickerholic "went on a crusade." Fueled by sheer willpower and a determination to join the military, the 36-year-old finally conquered a lifelong battle with his weight. Three years and 230 pounds lighter, Evans again saw a recruiter. This time, he was met with a much different reception.

"He had me come down to his office for a (fitness) test," said Evans, now 39 years old and a svelte 165 pounds. "I passed with flying colors and signed up for the Reserves on the spot."

As a 91W combat medic student at the Army Medical Department Center and School, Evans now serves as a motivator for his fellow Soldiers, a role he never anticipated when growing up on the streets of Detroit.

"It was rough," Evans said. "You had to either be the big guy so no one messed with you or you had to know how to fight. I was the big guy."

Evans' mother, a single mother of four, worked at two jobs to keep a roof over their heads. Evans became "papa" at home, cooking and cleaning for his siblings.

As a teen, his size was an advantage in football. That and his passion for the marching band kept him fairly fit and out of trouble, he said. He continued with both in college at Grambling University, La., then signed on as a trombone instructor and vocal teacher at his alma mater. Evans taught there for 14 years.

Over the years, a love of sweets turned the 260-pound teen into a 418-pound man.

When his brother became sick, Evans and his wife, La Tanya, moved back to Michigan to help with his brother's three children. Evans took a job as a sales manager at a clothing store and a night job in home health care.

Despite his weight, Evans was healthy but frustrated by his physical condition. At 36, "I couldn't walk from the couch to the door without sitting down," he said. "But I didn't want to push back from the table."

Although he worked in a clothing store, his own shopping trips were a dreaded nightmare. When he went shopping, he didn't ask the salesman to show him where the jeans were or for a style tip, he asked for the largest size in the store. Sometimes even the largest size wouldn't fit.

"That's when my wife would turn to me and just say, "It will be OK,'" Evans said. "She knew how bad I felt."

But it wasn't until the recruiter walked in that Evans pushed his plate away. He got up from the couch and started walking, then running. With smaller portions and a steady diet of gym trips, the weight flew off.

"I never lost sight of my goal (joining the Army)," Evans said. "Even at 418 pounds I never gave up. That's just who I am."

A much slimmer Evans enlisted in July and traveled to Fort Sam Houston to start combat medic training. He is once again a father figure, but this time for the younger Soldiers, who call him "pops."

"I watch over them and try to keep them motivated," Evans said. "I'm up early and running and yelling and keeping the Soldiers going at PT."

"Pvt. Evans motivates me every time I see him in front of the company," said 1st Sgt. Armand Fermin, C Company, 232nd Medical Battalion first sergeant. "His performance and attitude are phenomenal. He energizes me and the cadre and provides the younger Soldier medics a positive role model."

Evans said his fellow trainees always ask him where he gets his energy. "I tell them I do it because I couldn't at one time," he said. "If I could fly, I'd fly."

Right now he is flying through training, and his leadership is helping him to obtain a few other goals - become an active duty officer and a nurse.

"I feel like a different person," Evans said. "I'm the same on the inside, but now my energy level matches my inner drive. I have the energy to do what I want to do."

Regarding his surgery- and prescription-free weight loss, "If you get it in your head that you can and will beat this, you will," he said. "Say today, not tomorrow. I won't cut off, but cut back. Try not eating sweets for a week, anything that will motivate you."

Evans still avoids Snicker bars and most sweets, but doesn't give them a second thought. His primary focus is on his military future.

"I'm aiming for 20 years in the Army," he said. "It took me a long time to achieve this goal and I'm going to keep going until I can't."

(Editor's note: Elaine Wilson serves with the Fort Sam Houston Public Information Office.)



There's someone who really wanted it, and wouldn't let anything stand in his way. :salute:
This man is incredible. Amazing what people can do for something they really want.

Good job!!!  :salute:
just goes to prove what  will power can do ....wow he sure has lots of it  and good for him to go and do it and succeed
Wow, I guess there is hope for me after all.  I'm not all that fit right now, and it feels like it is taking forever to get in shape.  Awesome!
Man, now that is motivated....
All i can say is that reading this should motivate any and everyone who has problems getting what they are going after right now, that and Wow this is one motivated man.
Absolutely incredible. This is a great example of someone who has a goal and will do anything to achieve it. Human potential cannot be matched.   :)
Holy crow! Sometimes all one needs is a goal that gives a sense of purpose.

They should make a recruiting commerical out of his story...move over Subway guy.
Pieman said:
They should make a recruiting commerical out of his story...move over Subway guy.

This guy would definitely kick Jarod's ass!  Show's you the power of a motivated will. AWESOME
Well, for someone "just" 300 pounds, 39 years old and 5'9", you need an intake of 3181.25 calories to maintain your weight.  Basically, he could have eaten four Big Macs with fries a day and still lost that first 100 pounds relatively quickly (not necessarily healthily) even if sedentary.  His intake had to be massive just to maintain all that blubber on him.  It was as simple as putting his mind to it - well done to him.
Thats pure motivation! He really wants the job and definitly deserve it!
Big  :salute: to this guy.
A born looser? If you're going to make a pun, make sure you know how to spell the word.
BKells said:
A born looser? If you're going to make a pun, make sure you know how to spell the word.

Naw...  don't worry.  He's just trying to work his way up the warning system.

He went from verbal warning to C and P within 30 minutes.  Too bad, cause
that means he can't post for one week and we'll have to wait till then to see his ban.
Wow this gentleman certainly ought to be proud of his accomplishments...
he also saved himself from possible serious chronic illness by taking control of his life

A job extremely well done  :salute:

Dang.... Serious Bravo Zulu to that guy.... Makes my wanting to loose 30 lbs seem like nothing....

if he can do that much!!

My hat is off to him though  :salute:
UNFLIPPIN believable!

Great story, and with the motivation and dedication the soldier arrays his entire platoon
would be energized. Medic's ROCK!


PS he is still equalivalent to two US soldiers. He should have came North.
Mike the maritime medic