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Apr 26, 2013

Marine Corps News| by Sgt. Aaron Rooks

Marine Pfc. Christopher G. Reynolds 600x400

GREENWOOD, S.C. — Christopher G. Reynolds, Jr. attended a religious service in early 2012 when a church leader called all high school seniors to the front of the room. The church leader, performing an annual tradition, directed Reynolds and his peers to announce their goals following high school graduation in May. Reynolds’ mother and father never expected their son’s answer.
 Reynolds, 19, announced his plan to become a U.S. Marine publicly for the first time during service that morning. His answer shocked both his family and friends. His father, Reynolds Sr., said he knew his son had great potential, but he never thought he would go to such an extreme. The veteran said he discussed the military with his son, but he focused primarily on the U.S. Navy because of his 13 years of service. After a discussion following the ceremony, he knew that his son was very serious about his decision.
Reynolds and his father visited a Greenwood, S.C. recruiting office in June 2012 shortly after graduating from Greenwood Christian School. However, they were left speechless following the initial visit with a recruiter. Staff Sgt. Matthew B. McGarvey, the staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of Recruiting Substation Lexington and a former recruiter in Greenwood, informed Reynolds that he would have to lose 45 pounds to enlist and an additional 15 to begin training. This information left Reynolds 60 pounds away from achieving his newfound dream.
“I felt for him,” Reynolds, Sr., said. “He had built up a desire to do it and he worked so hard up until that point. I didn’t feel like he couldn’t do it, but I realized it would be a difficult challenge for him.”
Reynolds faced a problem that he shared with 23.9 million other children and adolescents, according to the American Heart Association. He was obese, weighing approximately 230 pounds. Reynolds said he never worried about his body or weight. He loved good food and had plenty of it around him with limited exercise throughout high school. He assumed he would eventually have to lose some weight, but his assumption was far from reality.
Southern Utah Vets Aid, St. George, UT 


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