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July 13, 2009 06:10 PM

Veterans Shed 4,000 Pounds


If you've ever tried to lose weight, you know how hard it can be to do it alone.


With age, that battle can become more difficult, which is why the Sioux Falls VA Medical Center is working hard to help veterans shed any extra weight.

Every veteran in this room, young and old, man or woman...has one common goal - Lose Weight.

And they're succeeding, through the VA's MOVE Program - otherwise known as Managing Overweight or Obesity in Veterans Everywhere. The program that began a few years ago is giving them the tools they need to shed extra pounds.

And not just a few pounds, 4,000 pounds or the weight of two Volkswagen Bugs which the veterans proudly posed around.

They're smiles each and every one of them has earned.

“Today made under 200 for the first time,” said veteran Larry Landgren.

Vietnam Vet Larry Landgren lost 57 pounds in 7 months - that's 22 percent of his body weight. He credits the program's dieticians, psychologists, support groups and those who pushed him along the way.

“It's helped me and the support people down here are great. They keep track of you. They give you something to worry about when you come down to weigh in so it's been very good,” said Landgren.

Landgren like many of these Vets lost the weight for their kids and grandkids...and of course for themselves.

“You know I don't know if I'd been able to do it without the move program,” said veteran Glen Hildebrandt.

To celebrate their freedom from the unwanted weight, they released balloons into the sky, each one symbolizing 100 pounds they say they'll never gain back.

“We all agreed that it's just a goal. You want to be recognized when that celebration comes up, so we all kind of worked for that because we knew it was coming," said Hildebrandt.

It's a goal that Veteran Glen Hidebrandt says has made him feel lighter - 38 pounds lighter - and given him a new outlook on life.
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