They were recognized for their efforts during a ceremony which included the school choir from the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Florence, guest speakers, and even Wally, the Boston Red Sox mascot.
Veterans like Samuel Adams are part of this special weight management program,”I‘ve been losing like two pounds a week, when I first came I was on two canes, now I’m no canes, I can walk , getting exercise on my bike now 8 minutes three times a day,” says Adams.
Since it began in 2006, the so-called ”Move” program has motivated hundreds of veterans to lose weight and feel better,”I could barely walk a block , couldn’t tie my shoes, couldn’t bend over, had pains in my ankles, my knees, my lower back and now that I weigh under 200 pounds I weigh 190 and getting toward my goal weight, I’m feeling a lot better,” says Chip Mantz, a Navy veteran.
By staying with the program the weight loss is measurable for veterans like Army veteran Joseph Langland,”I‘ve got a long way to go, I’m in the 280′s , I was like 314 when I started,”says Langland.
Goals are pursued all in the name of better health,”I feel better and I hope to come off all my medicine through this program , that is my goal,” says Air Force Veteran Thomas Patrick.
Chip Mantz says he’s eating better and liking it, “I was a usual meat and potatoes guy and this time in my life I’m eating fruits and vegetables and it’s great tasting, I’m opening up new tastes I’ve never realized before just amazing,” says Mantz.
And the results are amazing, at the VA Central Western Mass Healthcare system, more than 300 veterans lost more than two thousand pounds.
The program is so successful, it is expanding. Besides programs in Northampton, Greenfield, and Pittsfield, classes will begin in Springfield on January 2 . at the veterans center at 1985 Main Street, Northgate Plaza.