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Guardsman and Concord YMCA work together to improve military family fitness

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H -- Tech. Sgt. Rob Rojek, 157th Force Support Squadron, assists Master Sgt. Jeffrey Vermette, Judge Advocate paralegal, with form in the weight room in Building 100 May 6. Rojek, a wellness and sports director for the Concord YMCA, worked with directors to establish a military membership program. (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz/RELEASED)

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H -- Tech. Sgt. Rob Rojek, 157th Force Support Squadron, assists Master Sgt. Jeffrey Vermette, Judge Advocate paralegal, with form in the weight room in Building 100 May 6. Rojek, a wellness and sports director for the Concord YMCA, worked with directors to establish a military membership program. (National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Curtis J. Lenz/RELEASED)

PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. -- While growing up on Navy bases, Tech. Sgt. Robert Rojek spent a lot of time at base recreation centers.

"I had a great time learning to swim and play soccer and baseball," says Rojek, a member of the 157th Force Support Squadron. "I truly believe these activities helped shape me and allow me the benefit of being a healthy individual."

In November 2011, Rojek became the full-time Wellness and Sports Director for the Concord Family YMCA. Since then, Rojek has promoted awareness of the Concord Family YMCA health and fitness programs to military members and their families.

"Parents and military members can come get a workout and at the same time bring their children and let them burn off some energy," continued Rojek. "To me, the YMCA is as close to an actual military installation combination health, fitness and recreation center as you can get."

The parent of two children, Rojek is very concerned about the increasing obesity in children.

"I've talked to many parents. Many feel that it is truly unsafe outdoors for their kids," he said. "They also feel they're too busy to take their kids out for hikes, walks, jogs, bike rides or just to kick or throw the ball around. They willingly let their kids sit in front of the television for hours on end because they are afraid to send them out of the house for outdoor play."

Rojek sees the Concord Family YMCA as a possible solution.

"There are several different programs that are offered at this location for both adults and children, and activities for families to participate in together," Rojek continued.

Shortly after starting employment last November, Rojek worked with other Concord Family YMCA direc-tors to establish a military member-ship program.

"The Y recognizes that military and their families make tremendous sacrifices for our country, our safety and our freedom," says James Doremus, executive director of the Concord Family YMCA. "Reaching out to military through a 50 percent discount on membership is our way of saying thank you for your contributions and sacrifice."

A Concord Family YMCA membership allows members to use any YMCA facility in New Hampshire. A military member can join the Concord Family YMCA, and participate in any YMCA program in the state.

"We provide a wide array of programs and services that will appeal and be supportive to military with families as well as single members," continued Doremus. "A Y membership provides the perfect environment and enables all military to increase or maintain their level of fitness in order to be as effective as possible."

Rojek hopes military families will take advantage of this resource and develop healthy habits that will be passed on to their children.

"I have been running for 28 years and have tried to follow in my father's footsteps by staying healthy and trying to take care of myself," Rojek concluded. "The best advice I can give for anyone wishing to increase their health and fitness is to watch their portion size, eat clean unprocessed food, and exercise."

For more information, contact Tech. Sgt. Robert Rojek at robert.rojek@ang.af.mil.
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