Marine infantry recruit drops 186 pounds to make it to boot camp
STARS AND STRIPES
By IMMANUEL JOHNSON
Published: May 28, 2020
Gabriel Ramirez spent his childhood dreaming of being a Marine, but that dream seemed unattainable as a 365-pound teen nicknamed “Meatball.”
Gabriel Mendez Ramirez lost 186 pounds on his way to becoming a Marine recruit. Ramirez, from Oceanside, Calif., graduated from Rancho Buena Vista High School last year and recently headed to boot camp.
BERNADETTE PLOUFFE/U.S. MARINE CORPS
This week, Ramirez, 18, was on his way to boot camp, 186 pounds lighter.
At the end of Ramirez’s sophomore year at Rancho Buena Vista High School in California, Marine recruiter Staff Sgt. Anna Rodrigues spoke to his class and later asked him about his interests.
“The kids I talk to, one thing I look for is heart,” Rodrigues said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I am looking for someone that won’t quit and will accept the challenge.”
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