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We salute the Army vet who dropped 25 pounds by consuming nothing but beer for weeks
If you run across Army veteran Del Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio, over the next couple of weeks, offer to buy him a beer.
No, seriously — it's all he's can have until mid-April.
Hall, the director of sales at Cincinnati's Fifty West Brewing Company, is fasting and having only beer for his caloric intake during Lent, the six-week religious season during which people typically give up daily vices like chocolate, soda, or social media use.
His journey was first reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Since he has started his fast on Mar. 6, Hall claims he's lost over 25 pounds, according to his Facebook where he's posting daily status update videos of his weigh-ins, as well as weekly recaps.
But while weight loss is a nice side benefit, it wasn't the goal. Hall told Task & Purpose he prefers to call his journey a "personal challenge" rather than a "diet," a time when he's working to be introspective and learn about himself.
"I feel my senses are heightened, I feel my eyesight's better, I feel mentally sharper, in the morning I don't have grogginess — I wake up and I'm ready to go," he said. "I've really felt like there's hardly any inflammation in my entire body right now. I feel really good."
Hall enlisted in the Army in 1996, he told Task & Purpose, assigned to the 558th Signal Company. He spent nine years total in the service — about two of those were spent on active duty and the other seven in the reserves. He went into intelligence after the September 11 attacks, and finished his Army career in 2005 as a counterintelligence agent working out of the Joint Reserve Intelligence Center.
The idea of sustainment-by-beer originated in the 1600s, Hall told Task & Purpose, when monks would drink only a style of beer called dopplebock while fasting because it had "a lot of carbohydrates and a lot of calories."
Hall said he drinks a variety of beers, though, because here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, "we brew lots of different styles...There are a lot of high-calorie, high-carbohydrate beers." (You're damn right there are.)
It's worth noting that Hall did consult his doctor before starting his fast, and is taking a daily multivitamin along with ensuring that he stays hydrated with plenty of water. And he told Task & Purpose that his job puts him in a unique position to be able to do something like this; working at a brewery provides him with plenty of options, his job is to drink and promote beer, and anything alcohol-related can be expensed, including transportation like Uber or Lyft throughout the day.
"After Lent ends, I'm going to slowly acclimate myself back to food, through soup and vegetables and things like that," Hall told Task & Purpose. "I'm hoping it breaks my addiction to food, and also it kind of resets my system where I have a healthier relationship with food."
"This isn't like a frat boy stunt," he added. "I'm 43 years old and I've practiced fasting in some form or fashion for several years now."
As for the best beer he's had thus far, he told Task & Purpose it's his brewery's oatmeal stout called Spare Parts; it's described on the brewery's website as a "Chocolate Maple Toasted Almond Stout" with "drippy notes of syrup and chocolate with nutty undertones and complex malt notes of caramel and roast." Hall said it tasted like "some sort of breakfast...I felt like I was having breakfast, I didn't feel, like, left out."
WATCH ALSO: US Troops Drank All Of Iceland's Beer
While the U.S. military wants to keep roughly 8,600 troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban's deputy leader has just made clear that his group wants all U.S. service members to leave the country as part of any peace agreement.
"The withdrawal of foreign forces has been our first and foremost demand," Sirajuddin Haqqani wrote in a story for the New York Times on Thursday.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."
A video has emerged showing a U.S. military vehicle running a Russian armored truck off the road in Syria after it tried to pass an American convoy.
Questions still remain about the incident, to include when it occurred, though it appears to have taken place on a stretch of road near the Turkish border town of Qamishli, according to The War Zone.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
We are women veterans who have served in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. Our service – as aviators, ship drivers, intelligence analysts, engineers, professors, and diplomats — spans decades. We have served in times of peace and war, separated from our families and loved ones. We are proud of our accomplishments, particularly as many were earned while immersed in a military culture that often ignores and demeans women's contributions. We are veterans.
Yet we recognize that as we grew as leaders over time, we often failed to challenge or even question this culture. It took decades for us to recognize that our individual successes came despite this culture and the damage it caused us and the women who follow in our footsteps. The easier course has always been to tolerate insulting, discriminatory, and harmful behavior toward women veterans and service members and to cling to the idea that 'a few bad apples' do not reflect the attitudes of the whole.
Recent allegations that Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie allegedly sought to intentionally discredit a female veteran who reported a sexual assault at a VA medical center allow no such pretense.
Survival expert and former Special Air Service commando Edward "Bear" Grylls made meme history for drinking his own urine to survive his TV show, Man vs. Wild. But the United States Air Force did Bear one better recently, when an Alaska-based airman peed in an office coffee maker.
While the circumstances of the bladder-based brew remain a mystery, the incident was written up in a newsletter written by the legal office of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on February 13, a base spokesman confirmed to Task & Purpose.