A helping hand: Navy recruiter a positive influence on all who use Waynesboro Y

navyWalt McCallop is a 23-year US Navy veteran now serving as a Navy recruiter. He’s still working on the aspiring law-enforcement officer he met at the Waynesboro YMCA.

“He actually stopped after about two weeks, but he still slips it into conversations every once in a while,” said Tre Woodson, a teen who took on McCallop as a mentor last year.

The two met in the weight room at the Y and started working out together. It quickly became obvious to Woodson that he could benefit from McCallop’s knowledge in the realm of fitness and specifically weight training.

“It was intense at first. When I first started working out with him, I was benching 135. Now I can get 315 on a good day. He pushed me to the limits, but it’s worth it. I like being pushed. That’s the only way to get better,” Woodson said.

And now Woodson, with help from McCallop, a former Navy boxer, is training at a boxing club in Harrisonburg. He had his first amateur fight recently, and won by knockout.

“Tre is a willing soul. That’s half the battle,” McCallop said. “When we come to work out, day or night, hot or cold, he always wants to work out, and he works hard. That’s one thing I like about him. The development from where he was a year ago to where he is now takes a lot of dedication. Day in and day out, he’s always willing to do more.”

McCallop, whose recruiting office is in Staunton, is a valuable presence at the Y.

“Walt is a great influence on not only the young adults in our facility, but all of us,” said Jeff Fife, the executive director of the Waynesboro YMCA. “His energy is infectious and he just makes everyone around him want to push themselves to their greatest self. I appreciate his service and dedication to our country, and know the young men and women that fall under his leadership are in great hands.”

To McCallop, being a helping hand is a big part of who he is.

“I am the type of person who is always willing to lend a hand, and I love the community that I serve, so I like to reach out and get with people in the community and just do what I can. To be able to be with people and teach them, that’s my passion. That’s what keeps me coming here daily,” McCallop said.


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