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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meet The Chicago area Veterans Who Will “Sweat For A Vet” This Veteran's Day: Nov 11, 2011

"Leave no man behind" is part of the culture of the US military forces and Vietnam-era veterans share their stories and why they are supporting Project VisAbility to help disabled veterans get physical rehab equipment and pay for vocational training.

This Veteran's Day (Nov 11) veterans and civilians are rallying to help fallen heroes by fundraising for rehab and education for disabled vets.

Newswise — “Leave no man behind” is part of the culture of the U.S. Armed Forces and veterans are continuing this creed in support of their fallen comrades this Veteran’s Day. “When I go to Hines Hospital in Chicago and see the many vets who are disabled, it breaks my heart,” said Larry Greene, formerly of the 8th Aviation Battalion, now living in Melrose Park, a suburb of Chicago.

Greene and many others are joining Gottlieb Center for Fitness (GCFF) to host “Sweat For A Vet,” a three-hour exercise and fundraising event from 8:30 -11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, in Melrose Park. “Gottlieb is raising money for adaptive exercise equipment and vocational training for local veterans in need at Project VisAbility,” said Ursula Dams, assistant director, GCFF.

Marilyn Shalloo retired with the rank of colonel from the U.S. Air Force in 1994, after spending more than 30 years in service. “Even when you retire from the service, you really never leave,” she said. “I will always answer a call to duty, whether it is participating in a fitness event to support veterans or helping in any way. You never refuse an opportunity to help a fallen buddy.”

Jim Moriarty, a Chicago Public Schools teacher for 42 years, says,”I enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1961 through 1964 because I had no money and wanted to see the world. I saw the world all right: Colorado, Hawaii, Vietnam amd Thailand.” Moriarty credits the Army with “teaching me discipline, teamwork and even how to type. I saw the world, was able to go to college on the GI bill, buy a house and have a teaching career, all due to serving my country.”

GCFF member Stan Tafilaw, a former Navy corpsman stationed with the Second Battalion 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam, says, “In 1968 I was in Vietnam, fighting for my country and went on to serve many years as a nurse in the Navy Nurse Corps and also in the Veterans Administration. I owe my education and my career to the U.S. Navy and I want to give back.”

GCFF is participating in this event along with several other fitness centers across the United States. “Everyone is welcome to come choose from exciting programs including group cycling, rowing, trekking, boot camp, Zumba and more,” said Dams. For a minimum donation of $25, participants can choose from a variety of exercise formats taught in 20 minute segments. “You do not have to be a club member and you can exercise at your own pace and comfort level,” said Dams. “Supporters also can choose to offer a donation or purchase a commemorative T shirt as a way of offering much-needed help on Veteran’s Day.”

This is the first year that Gottlieb has participated in the national event but is already receiving positive feedback from the community.

Greene and his wife, Aiko, have been Gottlieb fitness members for more than 10 years and this event is very important to them. Greene recalls his own armed services experience:
“My unit, the 8th Aviation Battalion, left Germany in 1966 and went to Fort Riley, Kansas, for jungle training. From there they went to Vietnam where many of them lost their lives flying rescue missions for injured infantry troops. I want to visit the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. someday where I will trace the names of my friends who lost their lives in service to our country,” he said. “Supporting GCFF’s ‘Sweat For A Vet’ is an easy way to help fallen heroes.”

All are invited to call the Gottlieb Center for Fitness at (708) 450-5790 to pledge support, buy a T shirt or to register for the event. Walk-ins are also welcome.

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