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Recruit loses 230 pounds to enlist in Army
ARNEWS ^ | Nov 4, 2005

Posted on 11/04/2005 3:39:06 PM PST by SandRat

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.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: 230; army; enlists; loses; pounds; recruit; recruitment
This is the after photo.



Go to the source to see the before.

1 posted on 11/04/2005 3:39:07 PM PST by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

Now this new Warrior was motivated to join!!!!


2 posted on 11/04/2005 3:39:44 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat; Petronski

OMG


3 posted on 11/04/2005 3:40:04 PM PST by cyborg (I'm on the 24 plan having the best day ever.)
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To: cyborg
He lost the equivalent of two 5' 1" women each weighing 115#s.
4 posted on 11/04/2005 3:41:49 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

Dang! Good for him!!!


5 posted on 11/04/2005 3:42:01 PM PST by Tax-chick (I'm not being paid enough to worry about all this stuff ... so I don't.)
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To: SandRat

WOW! and Bravo. A few good men indeed!


6 posted on 11/04/2005 3:42:34 PM PST by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada!)
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To: SandRat

that's a lot of weight.

I would be willing to bet his knees, ankles and back feel 100000% better


7 posted on 11/04/2005 3:42:37 PM PST by MikefromOhio
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To: SandRat

Hoooah.That guy is motivating...A Co 232 Med BN..'93!!!!


8 posted on 11/04/2005 3:43:16 PM PST by a_dem_no_more (I became a conservative on 9/11)
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To: SandRat
He lost the equivalent of two 5' 1" women each weighing 115#s.

I lost one of those in my first divorce

9 posted on 11/04/2005 3:44:04 PM PST by freedumb2003 (Let's tear down the observatory so we never get hit by a meteor again!)
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To: cyborg

That's a patriot.


10 posted on 11/04/2005 3:44:36 PM PST by Petronski (Cyborg is the greatest blessing I have ever known.)
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To: SandRat

VERY inspirational!


11 posted on 11/04/2005 3:44:49 PM PST by La Enchiladita (Geena Davis is not my president.)
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To: Petronski

Yes!


12 posted on 11/04/2005 3:45:16 PM PST by cyborg (I'm on the 24 plan having the best day ever.)
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To: SandRat

Congratulations, Mr. Evans! You are a true role model.


13 posted on 11/04/2005 3:45:57 PM PST by Tired of Taxes
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To: SandRat


We salute you Pvt. Evans! You ROCK and thank you for serving our country!


14 posted on 11/04/2005 3:48:37 PM PST by rockabyebaby (I'm not afraid to say out loud what the rest of you are afraid to admit.)
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To: SandRat
Quite a difference..... You have to give the guy credit for perseverance.......


15 posted on 11/04/2005 3:49:56 PM PST by deport
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To: deport

He should write a book. Better than Dr.Phil that's for sure.


16 posted on 11/04/2005 3:51:45 PM PST by cyborg (I'm on the 24 plan having the best day ever.)
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To: SandRat

Now that's a motivational story MSM will never show! What a good hearted man and a great American!


17 posted on 11/04/2005 3:56:24 PM PST by TheSpottedOwl ("President Bush, start building that wall"!)
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To: cyborg

Would Oprah interview him???


18 posted on 11/04/2005 3:58:13 PM PST by TheSpottedOwl ("President Bush, start building that wall"!)
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To: SandRat

Portrait of a true American Patriot!

I love this guy!!!


19 posted on 11/04/2005 3:58:41 PM PST by ICE-FLYER (God bless and keep the United States of America)
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To: SandRat

You can still join the Army at 39?


20 posted on 11/04/2005 4:01:05 PM PST by Husker24
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To: SandRat

What a story.

Good for him...


21 posted on 11/04/2005 4:06:13 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (Conservatives are from earth. Liberals are from Uranus.)
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To: Husker24

Age limits for Nat. Guard, Reserves and in some cases even the actives has been raised.


22 posted on 11/04/2005 4:06:16 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: TheSpottedOwl

I wonder!


23 posted on 11/04/2005 4:07:33 PM PST by cyborg (I'm on the 24 plan having the best day ever.)
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To: cyborg

So do I. After I posted, I was thinking about Richard Simmons or Montel. His story needs to get out. Losing that much weight is news in itself, and the patriotic angle is a bonus : )


24 posted on 11/04/2005 4:22:21 PM PST by TheSpottedOwl ("President Bush, start building that wall"!)
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To: SandRat

Man, what a great story. From couch potato to combat medic. Wow!


25 posted on 11/04/2005 4:28:00 PM PST by 6SJ7
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To: TheSpottedOwl

I sent the story to the Oprah Show. Maybe I'll sent it to Montell too since he's military and it may interest him more.


26 posted on 11/04/2005 4:31:42 PM PST by cyborg (I'm on the 24 plan having the best day ever.)
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To: deport
Yes, he's an inspiration to many Americans who may only need to lose 20 to 30 pounds. You can will it to happen with changes in your habits.
27 posted on 11/04/2005 4:49:42 PM PST by elhombrelibre (MSM: de facto allies of America's enemies.)
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To: SandRat

Way to go. That's impressive as hell.


28 posted on 11/04/2005 4:54:18 PM PST by Centurion2000 ((Aubrey, Tx) --- America, we get the best government corporations can buy.)
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To: SandRat

What a great story.....another great American


29 posted on 11/04/2005 6:00:48 PM PST by Kimmers
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To: cyborg

Awesome! I like Montel, and Oprah can reach millions of viewers. Thanks Cyborg : )


30 posted on 11/04/2005 6:02:54 PM PST by TheSpottedOwl ("President Bush, start building that wall"!)
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To: cyborg
Forgive my cynicism but I think it will be a cold day on the other side of the River Styx before either of them air this story.
31 posted on 11/04/2005 6:43:54 PM PST by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

BTTT


32 posted on 11/05/2005 3:12:34 AM PST by E.G.C.
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To: SandRat

Thanks for posting.

I doubt that we'll see the "left" embracing this incredible story because it involves individual will and determination and because Roderick Evans wanted to join the US Army

The man is a walking recruiting poster.


33 posted on 11/05/2005 3:34:01 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: SandRat
Here's a link to a story about a gal who went from 302 to 158 lbs in order to join the Navy.

U.S. Navy Recruit Amy Pressley

34 posted on 11/05/2005 3:49:03 AM PST by csvset
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To: SandRat

Thank heavens something motivated this young man! Good for him.


35 posted on 11/05/2005 3:52:22 AM PST by BunnySlippers
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To: SandRat

Outstanding! What an American!


36 posted on 11/05/2005 3:59:05 AM PST by Trailerpark Badass
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To: SandRat

What a GREAT story to start the day with!


37 posted on 11/05/2005 4:07:04 AM PST by SE Mom (God Bless those who serve..)
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To: SandRat

This is one of the truly most motivating stories that I have ever read. This man is amazing. I'm going to start that diet I've been putting off for weeks TODAY. This hero is a role model in every way. God bless him.


38 posted on 11/05/2005 4:34:36 AM PST by Lorraine
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To: SandRat
Fantastic story! I've no doubt that Pvt. Evans will reach his other goals, as well.

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.

God bless him.

39 posted on 11/05/2005 4:42:58 AM PST by shezza
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To: shezza

bttt


40 posted on 11/05/2005 4:51:00 AM PST by Guenevere
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To: SE Mom

Bump. That's the way I saw it when I got up.


41 posted on 11/05/2005 8:34:50 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: SandRat

Double good on him.


42 posted on 11/05/2005 8:37:02 AM PST by jwalsh07
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To: jwalsh07

Wow! He looks like Samuel L. Jackson in that second pic --hubba hubba!!


43 posted on 11/05/2005 4:30:18 PM PST by duckbutt ( If you let a smile be your umbrella, then most likely your butt will get soaking wet.)
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