EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — In this week’s Veterans Voices, a Pennsylvania veteran wanted to help other vets improve their health by getting back into shape, so he opened a gym that caters to veterans, first responders, and even new enlistees. The results have been something to brag about.

Raymond Perez has been hitting the weights, but it wasn’t easy to get to this point. He struggled with his weight and motivation, but then he met trainer Logan Spiewak. Now, they work as a team, something they both learned in the military.

“I saw Ray when he was at his heaviest and he wasn’t taking care of himself. He said, ‘By the way I’m a veteran,’ and I said, ‘No kidding, me too,’ and I was giving him slack. He was in the Army, you know, a little brotherly love. And we just hit it off,” recalled Logan Spiewack, trainer and owner of Boots to Health.

After serving in the Marines, Spiewak realized he wanted to do something to help his fellow veterans, so he opened Boots to Health.

Perez has been training at Boots to Health for nine months. He had gained a lot of weight since his military days and had a neck injury, so the right trainer was essential.

“The goal was to get back to my Army weight. I’m literally 10 pounds away from that. I just wanted to feel like that again, like, healthy. That was the healthiest part of my life, when I was in the service,” explained Perez.

Since starting his health journey, Perez has lost 170 pounds, but more importantly, he’s gained a friend.

“Being Veterans, that’s something we hold dearly, accountability and responsibility. I’m really happy for him. He’s taking care of himself, his mental health is a lot better. And now that I did this for him, he’ll be able to go out to his shop and help other people in the community so it’s a win-win,” said Spiewak.

Spiewak says he got help financing his business through the Veterans Affairs Office of Cumberland County.

If you have a story idea for Veterans’ Voices, send an email to Nick Toma at ntoma@pahomepage.com.