MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
"How did the rumors get started about (Jared Fogle's) death," a Marine asked Jared Fogle, the famous Subway spokesperson, at the Wounded Warrior Battalion-East Barracks aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, recently.
Fogle laughed, having obviously heard the question before. He explained how he'd heard that a student in a college somewhere in the country had an assignment to write an obituary about a living person, and he was chosen. He said he had no idea how it spread so far, but said there were hints that it wasn't true.
"It said ‘in lieu of donations, send condiments,'" said Fogle.
Fogle travels the world to talk about a big change in his life that took place more than a decade ago. On Dec. 7, the globetrotting spokesperson found his way to MCB Camp Lejeune where he spent the day emphasizing a healthy eating lifestyle with local children at Bitz Intermediate School, posing for photos at the Subway on base and visiting wounded service members at WWBn-East.
Through his tour, Fogle hoped to simply talk to service members and shake their hands.
"We're coming, more than anything, for the troops," said Fogle.
He has visited quite a few bases around the world, including a base in Kuwait, and he has seen wounded service members before. He described an experience at the old Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., that heavily impacted him.
"It was emotional," Fogle said, of his trip to the burn unit. "You realize what they put on the line and you see their resiliency."
Fogle enjoys visiting service members, and appreciates their sacrifices.
"My dad jokes that I should get a real job," said Fogle. "It's because of the military that I get to do (this job). It's because of them that we have the freedom to do (any job)."
Close to the time of his departure, Fogle spoke to a service member near the exit. Around the corner several Marines stood by peeking over and whispering amongst themselves. A Marine, who escorted Fogle, asked the group of Marines to come over. They flooded the hallway, asking questions and shaking his hand. Fogle cheerfully answered them and unveiled his famous pants, which he wore when he weighed 425 lbs.
While Fogle may not have been able to relate to the Marine's experiences, he still offers and finds inspiration and joy with them.
"I just want to talk about football and shoot the breeze with them," he said. "Through (service members), I realize my problems are pretty small. You can see that with anything in life, a weight issue, anything, you have to deal with it head on."
While Fogle was on MCB Camp Lejeune, he visited Bitz Intermediate School where he shared his weight loss story.
"I encourage them to eat healthier and to learn from my mistakes," said Fogle. "I'm not a doctor, I'm not a nutritionist, I'm not a scientist, (but) I was an obese child myself."
That obesity followed him until college when he decided he needed a change after noticing he was selecting classes based on the distance he had to walk, according to his website biography. He then began his famous diet with which he lost 245 pounds.
"I hope they learn what not to do," he said. "I hope they learn what eating junk food and living a sedentary lifestyle can do to you. I hope they can see what you can accomplish personally when you set your mind to something."