Joe

Lakewood Family YMCA

When Joe first started coming to the Y, he was fresh off a tough deployment with the Army. He sought out therapy to help him deal with the effects of PTSD, but found that it didn't help him recover the ability to smile or enjoy time with his family. After he was told by his commander that he needed a break from active duty, he decided to drop off a volunteer application at the Y.

Soon, he got a call back from the Y asking him to come for an interview. Throughout the interview, he noticed that the staff always smiled at members they encountered. 

"I wasn't learning how to work out because I already had a solid understanding of fitness," Joe said. "But I was learning the power of a smile."

Joe volunteered at the Y as a Fitpath coach for 10 months before being redeployed.

"I have had great leaders in my military career but none as good as the Y staff," said Joe. "I can only strive to be as good and kind as they are. I can't thank them enough for what they did for me."