From 270 lbs. to 195; Kilo Co. recruit sheds weight, earns title 'Marine'
By Lance Cpl. Justin J. Shemanski
| | June 18, 2004
MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
Quite often, young men and women do not know where to turn after the familiarity of high school suddenly slams its doors behind them. They sometimes struggle with whether to choose college, go straight into the workforce or pursue another path - unsure of which road to the future they should take.Taylor Molinas, an 18-year-old native of Brooklyn, N.Y., was in a similar situation. He graduated high school June 21, 2003 and had no idea what he was going to do. He originally wanted to go to college and play football, but that plan fell through. Molinas lacked the grades for a football scholarship and struggled to come up with another option. After a lot of thought, he decided to join the Marine Corps, just as his brother had done. But, he faced another huge obstacle - his weight."He was 265 pounds when he graduated high school and didn't have anything to do," said Staff Sgt. Jorge Aspiazu, Molinas' brother. "He had no motivation to lose the weight, and was doing his little street thing with his friends. It turned out that he was thinking about being a Marine though, which surprised me."Aspiazu, who is the 3rd RTBn. drill master, talked to his brother about the Marine Corps when he found out about his interest and told him to get in contact with the recruiters in New York. Molinas went in to talk to them, but the meeting did not turn out as he planned. The recruiters were hesitant to sign him because of his excessive weight."They weren't really any help," said Aspiazu. "He was too heavy and they couldn't get him to drop any weight. That's when I said to him, 'Look, if you are really serious about going through with this, come down here in January and I'll work with you.'"When Molinas arrived at his brother's home in January, he weighed 270 pounds and was in for a rude awakening. Aspiazu put his brother on a training program similar to that of a recruit. There were 4 a.m. runs around the Depot, sprints and weight training. Aspiazu also held him to a special diet. Each meal had a serving of protein and a portion of carbs - junk food was cut out all together. There were no cookies, potato chips and sodas, but Molinas was welcome to all the water he wanted, to stay properly hydrated. He did all of this for a little more than two months before starting recruit training."Because of the program I had him on, I got him to lose almost 75 pounds before he went to training," said Aspiazu, who changes duty stations today. "He was motivated and ready to go."According to Molinas, staying with his brother motivated him even more than he already was before going to training."While I was here, I was able to watch recruits go through their training," said Molinas, a recruit from Platoon 3038, Kilo Co., 3rd RTBn. "I saw all the hard work they put into everything they did, which motivated me even more to lose the weight and become a Marine."Molinas is very thankful for the opportunity his brother gave him, and said if he had not gone through recruit training, he probably would not be doing much of anything back home."I'm glad he took time out of what he had to do each day, so he could help me prepare," said Molinas. "Being a Marine is something I have thought about for a while ... I always thought it would be great to follow in my brother's footsteps."Along his journey to prepare for the Marine lifestyle, many Marines aboard the Depot got to know Molinas and helped Aspiazu prepare him for what was ahead."It was awesome that Staff Sergeant Aspiazu helped his brother out the way he did," said Staff Sgt. Jamal Cook, incoming 3rd RTBn. drill master. "When he was down here training, it was great. He would come around the company to get a feel for what he was going to be around and we'd teach him different things so he would be a step up once he got to his platoon."Cook also admired Molinas' drive to become a Marine and was amazed at how well he adjusted to everything."[Molinas] was all business when he got here," he said. "Once he arrived, he was knocking pounds off left and right because he wanted this so badly. I was also surprised at how quick he got into the recruit mindset. Before he went to boot camp, we were all on a first name basis and when I first saw him as a recruit, he addressed me and anyone else he knew as 'sir' and didn't slip up once."After recruit training, Molinas hopes to go into the aviation supply field like his brother and is looking forward to his 10-day leave to show everyone back home what you can accomplish if you are willing to put forth the time and effort."I'm real proud of him," said Aspiazu. "I'm proud of the fact that he wanted to grow up into a man and follow in my footsteps."