Written by Richie Evans

My name is Richie Evans, and my story starts a little different than most veterans featured on this page. I am young – just nineteen years old – and I have spent just under two years in the military thus far. I was trained as an Aerospace Maintenance mechanic on the KC-135 Stratotanker, and I spent a very short three weeks at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL in the Air Force Reserve. I then transferred back home and into the Air National Guard, reenlisting with the 107th Airlift Wing in Niagara Falls, NY. When my ANG recruiter, TSgt. Krystalore Stegner mentioned Team Red, White and Blue, a support group for veterans, I became intrigued. Upon my arrival home I immediately “Googled” this group. Without hesitation I signed up and the rest became history.

Though it took me a few months after signing up to be able to get out to a Wednesday evening run at Delaware Park in Buffalo, NY, I knew there was something special about Team RWB from the beginning. The group was extremely welcoming, and made me feel like I had been a member for many months. I was very nervous to make it to a run, since I only knew one person; however, that anxiety was unjustified and the decision to go has proven to be one of my best to date.

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Written by Jeremiah Fountain

My name is Jeremiah Fountain. I transitioned out of the Army in August of 2011, after serving three years on active duty as an Infantryman. During my time in the service, I was deployed once to the Diyala province of Iraq with the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord Washington. While stationed at JBLM, I met and married the wonderful woman I have the honor of calling my wife – Myra. She is now a Captain in the Army Reserves serving on AGR, which has brought us to Pittsburgh, PA. Shortly after my transition out of the Army, my wife and I were blessed with our amazing son Noah.

As with many veterans I know, I fell into a physical slump after separating from the service. I began to use minor service related injuries as an excuse to stop exercising and sit on the couch all day. Furthermore, I was afforded the privilege of becoming a full time stay at home dad after our son was born. This great opportunity to stay home with my son gave me yet another excuse to avoid exercise and a proper diet. As expected, that destructive lifestyle came with a high cost. By the end of 2012, my weight was out of control. I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and the devastating diagnosis of diabetes. In the spring of 2013, I had no choice but to start making better decisions for my health in order to ensure I could stick around for my son. 2013 was a roller coaster ride of trying to manage my diet and exercise with little result.

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