SELMA, Ala. (AP) - Military recruiters must be good at selling their product because competition is keen among the various branches.
He’s no kid, not at the age of 38, but he’s experienced enough of life to use it as a selling tool to reach monthly enlistment quotas at his west Alabama recruiting unit based in Selma.
“I always wanted to be a soldier and just knew it was meant for me,” he said earlier this week during his early morning workout at the Selma-Dallas County YMCA. “I’m a competitor. I hate to lose.”
His father was an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and kept his combat experiences to himself. Some were too painful to relate.
Brown returned to civilian life to be close to his son after his initial enlistment expired and drove a Pepsi truck for five years. Again, he couldn’t stay away from what he felt was his calling in life.
His next enlistment included tours in Iraq and Afghanistan but, before that, he made a promise to himself to get in better shape. It was made after a training run in which he trailed others in his unit and was scolded by the leader who told him to shape up.
He didn’t need to be reminded again, and it wasn’t long before he set the pace, leading in many of the runs.
“He’s a wonderful motivator and inspiration,” fitness director Kasey Burton said. “He not only recruits for the Army, he also recruits new members for the Y.”
Brown often starts his day at the YMCA as early as 5:30 a.m. and is back 12 hours later to help his youngsters. It’s a long day, but he doesn’t show any rust on his “aging” body.
In addition to having bench-pressed up to 300 pounds, he also goes through a drill that leaves others in the weight room wide-eyed with admiration.
What he does is hold a 25-pound barbell in each hand before squatting and jumping 3 feet up onto a table. He does three repetitions at 10 jumps each.
“When I started my legs felt like spaghetti, but I got used to it,” he said. “I challenged myself and can finish in five minutes.”