Thursday, November 20, 2008

Man Drops 140 Pounds In 11 Months To Join Marines

I came across this article yesterday. Title read, "Man Drops 140lbs in 11 Months to Join Marines." My first thought was . . . now that's a Marine!

This man, named Ulysses Milana, did an extraordinary thing. After deciding to serve his nation, he took on the challenge of losing 140lbs. As if deciding to join wasn't a big enough decision he now faced a weight loss mountain. The Associated Press reports that Marine recruiters could see potential in Milana and worked with him till the finish line.

Now Milana is a Marine and ships off to SC for boot camp on Monday. The difference between this new Marine and all the others - he's had recruiters in his face punishing him for the past 11 months. His body is well trained at this point and the upside is it can only get stronger and leaner. And when he's in formation, he'll be the Marine at the front, ready to lead. And he won't be hazed for not being able to do something.

Military weight restrictions are rough, this is something that I understand personally. Some branches have taken it to the next level and are now trying measurement restrictions - ie if you're a female at this height your waist can not exceed X inches and your hips must remain under X inches. All on top of your regular weight restrictions. Truth is, we are not all the same. We are all built differently.

When I decided to join the AFROTC at LSU I knew I had to drop weight. As a cadet, you can't even wear your uniform until you meet the regulation standard. It is a honor to wear it - not a privilege. So I worked hard and I made weight. But back then, I was very young. Just out of high school and much leaner than I am today. And today, I'm still on a weight loss journey but am miles away from AF regulation.

I can't even begin to imagine the physical pain Milana endured to drop that much weight. How he stood, day after day, in front of those Marine recruiters - - - I wonder, did he ever feel embarrassed? Did he ever want to quit? What motivated him? How did he find the internal strength to push on? The work ethic and dedication Milana showed during his 11 month journey proves to every Marine out there that he deserves to be a Marine, and that he has a phenomenal character. The Corps is very lucky to have him.

Best Wishes on your journey Milana. Don't ever look back. You're going to be one fabulous Marine.

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