To start, he launched Jake Sawyer Fitness, his own personal training business helping people get in better shape and feel better about themselves. The next step for him was enlisting in the Army National Guard and going to college. "I wanted to set an example for my younger brother - and show them there's always a 'way out', plus the National Guard paid for 75% of school tuition which helped a lot. I was the first person in my family to go to college, and the first to serve in this country's great military," he says.
Soon there after, Sawyer received a phone call that he'd be deployed to Iraq in February of 2003, with only 2 days notice. "I had to sell everything, my car... everything."
He was assigned to one of the most dangerous jobs, running convoys and security. And a few short months in, his truck struck an IED. "It completely threw me from my truck and I had to get reconstructive surgery of my foot. I was bedridden for 30 days," he said. But this didn't stop Sawyer - he went back to work once he recuperated. "I didn't want to leave anyone behind," he says.
After returning from his 15-month assignment, Sawyer returned home with PTSD, but amid the psychological distress, his passion to help others grew even stronger.
Today, Sawyer has reconnected with many of his clients and kicked started his training business again, this time he's focusing on giving back to other returning war vets. "I build groups, support systems and organize fitness trips to help vets get back to normal life." He's also in pursuit of securing his concept as a non-profit with the proceeds going to returning war vets.
Sawyer is one tough dude, and we were lucky enough to get some time training with him. Here's one of his workouts to boost power, strength and endurance.