B.J. Leggett: Host, Vice President, Writer, Producer
From an early age, BJ was faced with much adversity. At the age of 16 he was ejected from a vehicle, landing directly on his chin. The painful process of rehabilitation would prove to him he had what it takes to enlist in the US Army.
His days as a combat medic in 101st Airborne Division would introduce him to a new level of adversity. While on his last month of deployment, his youngest son, Taylor, age 4 months, passed away of SIDS. BJ would return home to bury his son, finish his enlistment, and head off for Texas A&M in College Station, TX.
While at Texas A&M BJ would go on to gain some 60 plus pounds. Constantly struggling with PTSD, anxiety, and depression led him further down the rabbit hole. At one point he would down a fifth of whiskey a night as a traveling musician. During this tumultuous three-year period he would take at least 18 hours a semester, serving in the National Guard, and working 32 hours or more. Something had to give.
Upon graduation, BJ went into the workforce as a salesman. Constantly wining and dining customers would prove to be too much. He returned to Texas A&M to pursue a graduate degree. The mounting stress and personal woes eventually wrote him down enough to attend a three-week in patient PTSD program called Operation Home Base. While dealing with his mental health wasn't always priority, BJ would put drinking down for a two-year period. Not one single drop of alcohol was consumed. Determined, he would get acclimated with the gym leading him to a new mission - overall mental and physical wellness.
Currently, BJ is 190 pounds at 12-13% body fat. His mental health has come a long way. He contributes this new-found relief to both the physical side and mental health.
Andrew Young: Founder, President, Director, Writer, Producer.
Drew created The Warrior Workout Network once he decided to take control of his recovery. Drew served five years in the 101st Airborne, and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan before being placed on recruiting orders.
Drew struggled once he got into recruiting. He had difficulty adjusting to the mission and the lifestyle. Eventually, his morale took a hit. His diet went out the window, and his physical and mental well-being began to deteriorate.
He began struggling with depression, anger, guilt, and the myriad of other issues that comes with dealing with traumatic issues, and not properly dealing with them. Alcohol became a major concern, and he would become a heavy drinker over the next six years, minus a year off in 2010, when he was command referred to The Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP).
Drew was medically retired after being placed in a Warrior Transition Unit at the end of his recruiting obligation. He began playing Ice Hockey for the USA Warriors, and would eventually work his way to be an Alternate Captain. He began a job at NASA as an animator while he was going through the retirement process.
Once retired, he lost control of himself and began to drink several times a week. Eventually, his depression and dysphoria caused so many issues between him and everyone around him that he eventually pushed his family away, left his job, left the hockey team and began a journey of self-destruction. His family moved back to Virginia, and he followed. He would spend the next year drinking heavily, living on friends couches, his car and with his parents in New York.
While he was there, he hit rock bottom and ended up drunk in the VA on the sixth floor for a few days. That was May 1st 2015. Drew has been sober since. He was preparing to take a pack and walk the North American Trail, from the east coast to the west coast. Rather that allow him to do that, his dad purchased him a ruck sack and began hiking with him. At this point, Drew was fifty pounds heavier and now a pre-diabetic.
At this point, on a hike, Drew researched to see if there was a network for veterans to workout together, to help support eachother and get in shape. None such existed, so he decided to get his things together and create one. He worked hard, moved back to Maryland and stayed with his friend while going back to work at NASA. At this point, Drew began working this out with his wife.
They’ve been back together since and couldn’t be happier. They now have three children, and Drew completed his bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University. To help break his social anxiety, he decided to pursude a life-long dream, of doing stand-up comedy at the same time that he decided to go back to school. It’s been nothing short of an incredible journey and now he’s ready to take on the network and do things his way. He’s lost all of the weight, and is still on the journey to good health; both mental and physical. The network is for fellow veterans and civilians to go through this journey with our team.
Daniel Schoenthal: Trails Consultant, Contributing board member.
Check out Dan's cause! He's hiking for Parkinson's research! Click the button above for more information.
Dan started his Air Force career in 1984 as an air craft mechanic at McClellan AFB in Sacramento CA. .
At McClellan, he performed depot level maintenance on the A-10 warthog. After his discharge from active duty Dan proceeded with his young family to Seattle WA. Where he was employed by the Boeing airplane company and was a change incorprut mechanic on the 747-400.
After a little more than a year in Seattle he relocated his family to western NY joined the Air National Guard in Niagara Falls and retrained as an ejection seat mechanic on the F-16 . after a year and a half Niagara Falls swapped air craft to the KC-135 refueling tankers , at the same time period Dan started an apprenticeship program with the Buffalo steamfitters and pipefitters union and was unable to attend another Air Force training course.
At the age of 39 Dan reentered military status joining the 914the airlift wing at the Niagara Faalls ARS in the Air Force reserves . Needing to retrain Dan went into nondestructive testing .
During his time in the reserves he started running as a way to stay in shape for the AF fitness testing . Being a bit of a competitor he ran some local 5k’s ,trail races and eventually 7 half marathons . Dan had a goal of doing 1 full marathon.
In 2012 he signed up for the Marine Corp marathon in Washington DC. While training for this event he started to notice that his leg started to drag a bit and that at times his hand was shaking. After chasing symptoms for a couple years in August of 2015 was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease . Dan was forced to retire from work and was medically retired from the AF reserves in 2017.
The Parkinson’s disease was traced back to contaminated ground water at McClellan AFB . With the running career over Dan transitioned to hiking as a way of staying physically and mentally fit.
Dan has hiked 95 % of the trails in Allegany state park in NY , portions of the finger lakes trail and some of the Shenandohah National Park. April of 2020 he plans on attempting a thru hike of the Appalachian Trail.