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Big Country, 6′-6″ Law Enforcement Officer

From The Offensive Line to the Front Lines of Law Enforcement

Welcome Featured American Mission Athlete @bigcountry691

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There’s a reason why our feature athlete this month is nicknamed Big Country. At 6’-6” and 250 lbs., Dylan’s staggering size is a force to be reckoned. Born in Jacksonville, FL, Dylan has always been larger than life. With this gift, paired with his speed and strength, donating these attributes to the game of football was without question, obvious. It would be these same characteristics that would eventually lend themselves ideally to a career in law enforcement.

The Offensive Line

Dylan’s natural size, strength and determination enabled him to be a dominate force in football. It was his presence on the offensive line, positioned as an offensive tackle, that enabled his high school team to be 42-5 during his career. Rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com, Dylan as a team captain, earned all-district and all-First Coast recognition. With his proven record of success on the field, his talents were taken to Appalachian State where he started as true freshman. Playing at 320 lbs., and able to bench 225 lbs x 37 reps, he continued to dominate the offensive line and led the Mountaineers to a 10-3 season his first season.

A Life Long Pursuit

After the NFL draft in 2014, Dylan made the decision to hang up his cleats to pursue his life-long aspiration; law enforcement. Having been born and raised in Jacksonville, FL, he had longed dreamed of serving and protecting those within his community. Now, active on the force and patrolling the streets while most of us are sleeping, he frequently volunteers his time to speak to student athletes and children within the city about the importance of staying in school and steering clear of drugs.

Reprogrammed – A Passion for Fitness

Having grown to 320 lbs. during his football career, Big Country recognized the need for a transformation. With a change in diet and training methods, he was able to shed 70 lbs and is stronger today than ever before. His daily strength and endurance training keep him physically fit to perform his job to the best of his ability.  He thrives on motivating and inspiring others to lead healthy lives through a combination of proper nutrition and exercise.  With a love of all things country, Dylan is without question, an inspiration to us all.

Dylan, welcome to the American Mission Team. It’s an honor to have you sir and thank you for your service.

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Cloud

LCpl Cloud, From Friday Night Lights To The U.S. Marines

From Friday Night Lights To The U.S. Marines

Welcome Featured American Mission Athlete @essketitttt_03

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In the early stages of our lives, each one of us begins to find that which we’re passionate about.  Whether that discovery leads us to the corner office in the corporate world, dedicating our lives to helping others via a non-profit or helping others in the field of medicine, our lives begin to take shape.  In the case of our feature athlete, Lance Corporal Cloud, it was his continuous pursuit of excellence and his love of being part of a team that inspired him to elect to enlist in the U.S. Marines.

Born in Cullman, Alabama

Born in Cullman, Alabama, LCpl Cloud has always been active.  Having played outside linebacker in high school, he found inspiration in the comradery and fed off the intensity of the game.  It was there that he developed a love for all things fitness and continually strives, to this day, to excel at whatever he sets his mind to.

It Runs in the Family

Serving as life long inspiration, LCpl Cloud has two uncles, one in the Navy, the other, the Marines.  Their direct involvement with the armed services paired with Cloud’s determination in his pursuit of excellence, and his love of our Country, led to his enlistment in the Marines in 2015.  Having been deployed all over the world, his experience includes training Marine Force Recon for the Cameroon military.  During his time in the Marines, he has earned the skill of an expert marksman.

A Passion for All Things Fitness

LCpl Cloud recognizes the short and long term benefits of leading an active lifestyle.  As such, he has adopted one and wishes to motivate and inspire others to do the same.  At a weight of 195 lbs., he displays impressive strength with a max bench of 355 lbs., a deadlift of 495 lbs. and a squat of 375 lbs.  LCpl Cloud has focused primarily on powerlifting though has begun transitioning to lower weight, higher reps, in pursuit of the next stage of his fitness journey, aesthetics.

With a life long aspiration of owning his own gym, his experience in the military paired with his comprehensive knowledge of all things fitness, will without question serve him well.

Lance Corporal Cloud, welcome to the American Mission Team.  It’s an honor to have you, sir, and thank you for your service.

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LCpl Cloud, An Inspiration To Us All!

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Ngun, Born in Vietnam, Now U.S. Army Infantry

From The Indigenous Regions of Vietnam To The U.S. Army

Welcome Featured American Mission Athlete @ngunn007

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Each one of us has a story and that’s what makes us unique. Within that story there are layers upon layers of chapters beginning with those early days in our lives and progress with experiences that shape us. Each one presenting a new opportunity whereas only we, and no one else, can forever change our lives by simply making a decision. This story that I’m about to share is littered with courageous decisions, and commitment which ultimately laid the foundation for the latest addition to the American Mission team, Ngun.

The Vietnam War

Born in Vietnam, Ngun’s family are Montagnards. These are the indigenous people of the Central Highland of Vietnam. During the Vietnam war, they were allies of the United States and would assist the special forces as they were promised freedom from the Vietnamese. When the U.S. withdrew from the region, the Montagnards were left behind to fend for themselves. It was at that moment that Ngun’s father made a decision that would forever impact his family’s life.

A Life Changing Decision

Displaying remarkable courage, Ngun’s father came to the United States in 2001, seeking refuge. Recognizing the U.S. was a place where dreams can be fulfilled, after years of effort, he was finally able to bring his family into the country in 2008.  Ngun was just 10 years old at the time.

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Born A Soldier

From an early age, Ngun knew that he wanted to become a soldier, and when the time was right, he joined the Army. Now, based out of Ft. Drum, NY and trained in infantry, he is with the B CO 1-32. In 2016, his Company was the first one to return to Djibouti, Africa, representing the 10th Mountain, since Black Hawk Down in 1995.

A Passion for All Things Fitness

Ngun recognizes the short and long term benefits of leading an active lifestyle. Ngun’s daily strength and endurance training keep him physically fit to perform his job to the best of his ability. Having always had a passion for fitness, Ngun displays impressive strength for his size. At a weight of 155 lbs., he routinely bench presses 265 lbs and dead lifts, 425 lbs.

Ngun, welcome to the American Mission Team.  It’s an honor to have you sir and thank you for your service.

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Lane, Former NFL Player, Law Enforcement Officer

A story of great perseverance.  Faced with a career ending injury, a decision had to be made.

Former NFL Player, Law Enforcement Officer, Inspiration

Welcome Featured American Mission Athlete @powerstachefitness

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Born and raised in Wisconsin, fitness and athletics have always been at the top of his list. As a D1 State Wresting Champion and a 3 time College Football National Champion he was destined to take his skills to the next level. Lane exhibited his athleticism for NFL scouts during Pro-Day in 2011.  Running a 4.3 40, pumping out 29 repetitions on the bench and with a 38.5 inch vertical, Lane was offered a spot with the New York Jets.  Shortly thereafter, a broken ankle cut his career short.  It was then that a decision had to be made.

Without hesitation, recognizing his passion for helping others, Lane began his career in Law Enforcement.  Currently with the West Allis Police Department in Milwaukee County, WI, he loves every single day of it.⠀Lane, we thank you for your service!

A Passion For Helping Others

As you might expect, his passion for helping others extends beyond Law Enforcement.  With his love of all things heath and wellness, Lane actively exhibits his athleticism on social channels for inspiration.  In addition, he continually offers fitness tips and guidance on the same platforms.  And, with his natural comedic social presence, he makes fitness fun and will without question bring a smile to your face.

Building a Strong Foundation is Key

Having studied Physiology of Exercise and working in the fitness industry for years, Lane believes that a focus on functional training is of utmost importance.  Strongly believing that developing strength, stability and mobility and allowing the body to work as one is key to optimal, injury free, performance. “Once you build that foundation, the sky’s the limit.”

As Lane would say, “Be healthy, be functional, and Get Beasty.”⠀

Lane, welcome to the American Mission Team.  It’s an honor to have you.

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Michael, Amputee, Law Enforcement Officer, Inspiration

Michael’s story is one that you need to read.  Check out how Michael is using his personal experience to motivate and inspire others.

Amputee, Law Enforcement Officer, Inspiration

Welcome Featured American Mission Athlete @crowe_bocop

Some things are better left unedited.  This is one of those stories that is best told by Michael.

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“In March of 2012, I was involved in a motorcycle accident and was struck by a teenage girl that was texting and driving. The impact of the collision completely severed my right foot and I was in the hospital for two weeks. During that time I opted to amputate my right foot and be fitted with a prosthetic. The night of the collision, I was less than 24 hours before starting my first shift as a police officer. I had just graduated the police academy and was about to start my first night on patrol.”

“After six months of rehab, I was able to return to work on active duty as a police officer with a prosthetic leg. I dont let any limitation hold me back from living my dream as a police officer. I’ve been involved in several weightlifting and crossfit competitions as an amputee. This would be my first shooting competition but would love to use this experience as a catalyst to help other amputee’s get involved in law enforcement. My disability does not prevent me from performing my duties as a police officer.”

“I’ve had many people reach out to me and tell me that amputees were unable to be Police Officers in their community. People have told me that the physical tasks alone would prevent me from successfully completing my duties. For 5 years now, I’ve been proving them wrong and trying to inspire other amputees that a career in law enforcement is possible. I’m proud of what I have accomplished but I want to help give others the chance to pursue their dreams. I want to be that tool to help give them the opportunity to succeed. I want to spread the word and show others that no disability can hold you back. There is no excuse why you cant change your life and make a difference in your community.”

Nothing Standing In My Way

“While waiting in the lobby for my doctor appointment recently, a man sitting a few chairs over looked down at my leg. I was wearing shorts so the man could see that I had a prosthetic leg. The man leaned over and asked me how I lost my leg. I told him I was involved in a motorcycle accident and that a teenager was texting and driving hit me. The man shook his head and told me that he was sorry. I told him that things happen and you just have to move on. The man asked me what I do now since I can’t work because of my disability. I told the man that I have a job and work full time. The man asked me what I do for work. I told him I was a full time active duty police officer. The man shook his head and told me, “there is no way a Dept would allow a person with a disability be a street cop.” Once he said that, I sat back in my seat with a big smile on my face and said, “well I might be lucky sir, but they let me.”

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t pursue your dreams. The greatest motivation is someone telling me I can’t do something! Please share this everyone and let people know, even if you have a disability, you can pursue a career in law enforcement.”

Michael, welcome to the American Mission Team.  It’s an honor to have you.

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Steven, PTSD, Survivor, Inspiration

Steven’s story is one of inspiration and admiration. Check out how Steven’s struggles and accomplishments are driving him to help others.

First Responder, PTSD, Survivor, Inspiration

Welcome Featured American Mission Athlete @southern_strongman

 

buy postworkout recovery drink mix muscle buildMy name is Steven Jirasek and I was born in raised in San Angelo Texas, a smaller West Texas town. I grew up being bullied throughout high school and initially wanted to get stronger to stop the bullying. After high school I realized I had a servants heart. Medical conditions kept me out of the military, but after that door was closed I found law enforcement. My last assignment was a mental health Deputy with our Sheriff’s office, dealing with suicide and homicidal subjects.

It was during this time I realized I found where my heart for people was. Being able to help people get out of these nasty moments in life was very rewarding. Then coincidentally I began experiencing mental health issues in the form of PTSD, anxiety and depression, which took me from the job I loved. Fitness became my main way of dealing with my own mental health, and I realized I could still serve my brothers and sisters by being an understanding ear. I’m able to both reach people through fitness, and show those dealing with mental health issues the psychological benefits of fitness and being healthy.

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Lorenzo, Veteran, Determination, Driven

Lorenzo’s story is one of inspiration and determination. Check out how this determined patriot achieved his dreams.

Patriot, Veteran, Determined

Welcome Featured American Mission Athlete @lothomas12

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Born and raised in the streets of Miami, Lorenzo learned at an early age, how to be a man.  With a loving and disciplined mother as inspiration, her encouragement to pursue his dreams, led to his enlistment in the Army.  Having always wanted to serve his country, he signed up for the National Guard Infantry and was deployed to Iraq in 2009.  It was there where he fought along side his brothers, our heroes, in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

With a focus of convoy security, escort details and raids, it was during the down times when Lorenzo became serious with fitness.  As a result, upon his return from Iraq he obtained his NASM certification and began his career as a Personal Trainer.  It was then when he began helping others achieve their personal goals.  Whether that was to become stronger, faster or leaner, Lorenzo was able to develop a personalized plan to satisfy many.

Today, Lorenzo’s time is precious.  In his constant pursuit of personal development, now as a Sales Manager for a national food company he keeps a busy schedule.  Nevertheless, he continues to pursue his own fitness aspirations and is always willing to provide guidance to others.

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Brandon, First Responder, SWAT Team, Inspiration

Our affiliates have such great stories. Brandon is another example that despite the course you take, it’s never too late to return to your roots and adopt a life-long healthy lifestyle.

Patriot, Investigator, and Inspiration

Welcome Featured Athlete @blkwtrcreek.

buy preworkout energy enhancing fuel drink mixBrandon’s journey with fitness began at the age of 13.  As a multiple sport athlete in High School, he received a scholarship to play football at the University of Virginia College at Wise.

With a degree in Administration of Justice, Brandon began his career in law enforcement in 2005 with Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Due to the demands of the position, fitness took a back seat and his weight climbed to 350 lbs.  In 2012, he joined the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and quickly became aware of his lack of fitness.  Rather than accept defeat, his commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle was unparalleled and his determination was relentless.

To date, Brandon has lost over 100 pounds through nutrition and exercise and currently serves on his department’s Tactical Team.  As a result of his own success, Brandon wants to be able to help others achieve their own goals.  He recognizes the importance of fitness to the everyday demands of life and is confident in his ability to share his experience with others. His hobbies include powerlifting and hunting.

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Gianna, Medic, Living Life to the Fullest

Our affiliates have such great stories. Once in awhile we are lucky enough to be able to share an amazing story with our entire team. Gianna has one of these type of amazing stories.

Patriot, Medic, and Living Life to the Fullest

Welcome Featured American Mission Affiliate @giannalanz12. When first talking with Gianna, she told us a little of her background and typically we’d write it up. However, Gianna did such a great job introducing herself, we thought let’s let it roll. Enjoy Gianna’s story:

buy preworkout energy enhancing fuel Sorry I’ve been out on the truck all day! But couldn’t be more thrilled for an opportunity to be a part of this team 🙂 I’m in Greenville, SC. I’ve been here for about a year and a half. I was on base at fort Sam Houston before going to the guard here. I have a bachelors in Bio with a minor in religion . I’m studying for PA now which I may be deciding to do in the military active duty. However, a car accident almost killed me a couple years ago.

Instead of letting it hinder all of the progress I’ve made in life, I did not get down. I became stronger and better than ever. Because if being t-boned by a transit bus going 75 in a 35 and my car flipping 3 times couldn’t stop me then I knew there wasn’t any goals I set for myself that I couldn’t reach.

Encouraging, educating and motivating people has become such a passion for me. I personally train people, love reading articles and books on the why behind doing things and really just showing people that there isn’t just one way to become the best version of themselves. I’m huge into outdoors stuff and am a big fan of finding yummy, healthy alternatives for the normal fan faves with foods.

buy preworkout energy enhancing fuel I’m a medic and the 3rd female to be accepted into the infantry unit that I’m currently at with the South Carolina national guard. I work at Greenville county EMS, the largest EMS agency in the state. Train with the swat team and considering becoming a swat medic in the mean time of PA school.

I was attacked earlier in the year and was beaten and had my trachea partially crushed and they said that had it been crushed one more time, I would’ve completely lost my ability to breathe in that moment, would’ve become hypoxic and lost my life. However, due to both of those events, I had no thyroid function anymore.

So I want to show people that despite the odds, you can succeed and live a life of purpose if you so choose. I have a “man made metabolism” (how I like to refer to It) so if I can live a healthy life, I know others can too.

Helping them realize that falling down may be an accident but staying down is a choice is huge for me because I don’t want anyone to accept not trying over accepting failure. If you have any questions or anything that I can help with, absolutely let me know!

Gianna Taking Names… and Targets

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