JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - It all started last year, when the phone rang at the Johnson City Army Recruiting office and staff sergeant William Corp picked up.
On the other end was Brian Bourne calling about recruiting. Bourne came to the office a bit later, and Corp immediately saw a challenge -- Bourne weight 350 pounds. "We have a weight requirement and a body fat requirement and you have to meet one or the other," Corp says.
The two talked in the office for about an hour. Corp said, "I know this is where you want to go, you want to join the Army, unfortunately right now you're not physically qualified."
But they didn't turn Brian away -- they advised him on how to reach his goal. "They basically told me what I needed to do, just told me to follow what they said and eventually I'd get to where I needed to be," Bourne says.
A year and a half later, Brian is 150 pounds lighter. "Nothing but lean proteins, vegetables, nuts and seeds ,fruits, that was my diet," he says. There was lots of cardio too, not at a gym, but in his own living room.
Just Bourne and some fitness DVD's. "There were times, you know, I was just thinking it was not coming off, it's coming off too slowly," he says.
Bourne, a guy that used to value time on the couch, is now a changed person. "I'm more physically active and I always look for things that keep myself active now," he says.
And Corp, along with everyone at Johnson City Army Recruiting, followed the whole time. "He kept coming in and we'd weigh him, we'd do a body fat test on him and he kept making great progress," Corp says.
Corp says most people disappear after learning of the physical requirements -- but not Brian. In fact, he lost five times the weight of anyone that was also overweight. "He was really motivated. He was saying, 'This is what I want to do, tell me how to get where I need to be,'" Corp says.
Bourne says he's always wanted to be in the Army. "I always admired the camaraderie and the teamwork that soldiers have, I've always wanted to be a part of that."
Now, he is, as he's leaving Monday for Infantry School in Fort Benning, Georgia. "It's pretty exciting, you know, I've been working for a while to get to where I needed to be and I'm glad it all finally paid off in the end," he says.
Corp told News 5 Bourne will be even more different when he gets back to the Tri-Cities in May -- he says soldiers often gain 20-30 pounds of muscle while at Infantry School.
If you are interested in joining the Army, you can visit the Johnson City Army Recruiting office or call them at (423) 926-9143.
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