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Shon Lewis has brought plenty of fire in his tenure as coach for the U.S. Army’s wrestling team. Larry Slater photo. Continued from page 9


ing, then in AIT, it specifies the job you chose, so you get trained for it. Whether it’s equipment, finance or dental tech, that’s what you’ll be studying hands-on,” said Lewis.


“I went with field artillery,” said Lester. “I mean, who doesn’t want to blow up something?”


Pyromania aside, Lester feels the regi- mented Army system has been good for managing his weight and his own person- al battles.


“Going to basic and AIT helped me instill a little discipline and being able to respond to authority a lot better,” said Lester. “Almost every coach I’ve had in my career has had to pretty much deal with me.”


When you’re at this point, the hardest


part is over. That is, if you consider basic training easier than wrestling for Lewis. “It’s the perfect opportunity,” said


10 USA Wrestler


U.S. Army wrestler Iris Smith won a World title in 2005.


Lester. “I’m part of the U.S. Army and I’m getting to do what I love. It’s hard, wrestling is hard, but I’ve got a lot more people to do it for than just myself. Whenever I feel down or beat up, I think


about the troops overseas putting in work making sure it’s possible for me to do what I’m doing.”


Once wrestling is over, Lester plans on staying in the Army.


“I eventually want to serve and be deployed eventually after my career is over,” he said. “I’m really seriously think- ing about making it a career in the mili- tary, whether it’s with WCAP or not.” But Lewis makes it clear to everyone who inquires about WCAP – the choice is yours.


“No one’s going to make that decision for you,” said Lewis. “If you retire from wrestling, you have to decide if you want to stay in the Army or not, you don’t have to stay in the Army. That’s another mis- conception. The guys I’m bringing in for 2016, they have a four-year commitment. That’s their job. After that four years, now it’s their decision to reenlist and do anoth-


Continued on page 11


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