To become a U.S. Marine takes a lot of sacrifices, but one thing some San Luis Obispo area recruits were excited to give up was some extra pounds.
Private Jeremiah Rodriguez, a graduate of Central Coast New Technology High, lost 25 percent of his body weight as part of his dedication to serving his country.
Rodriguez went from 240 lbs to 180 lbs in about three months, losing around 20 lbs each month, by changing his diet.
“From eating McDonald’s almost every day to sticking on chicken and rice and different healthy foods and running more and getting in shape,” Rodriguez said. “But because I was able to follow that, I wanted to become a Marine and getting that title is something that meant something to me.”
Rodriguez said losing the weight was difficult because it completely changed how he was eating and living his life.
Private Frank Velasco, 23, also lost weight to become a Marine, slimming down 85 lbs during the course of his training. Velasco is a graduate of Del Rio High.
Private Andrew Ring didn’t have to lose weight to join but he did train a long time to prepare to be a Marine.
After boot camp, he said he came back a different man.
“People see me not only as a kid they grew up with or a son that they raised but as my own person, as a man now, as a Marine,” Ring said.
The fourth Central Coast man who enlisted in the Marines is Private Riley Penir, 19, who graduated from Arroyo Grande High School last May.
All four of the men finished boot camp earlier this month.
Rodriguez and Ring are on their way to Camp Pendleton for the school of infantry, where they will learn all about field work.