Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Dr. D’Angelo Returns to Hilo Practice After 2nd Deployment

Dr. D'Angelo

LTC Joseph D'Angelo

Veteran’s Day is rapidly approaching and it’s a time to reflect and give thanks to the brave men and women that have served and are serving in our military.

The first commemoration of Veterans or Armistice Day came on November 11, 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that date to remember those that died in our country’s service following World War I.

Today we use the holiday to reflect with solemn pride the heroism of those who died and who serviced our country as we show gratitude for their service.

There are many Veterans living in our community who served their country during periods of war.  Robert Karp served in the Korean War, DJ Blinn was a marine in Vietnam and Dr. Joseph D’Angelo who recently returned from his second combat deployment are just a few of the thousands of Veterans from the Big Island.

Lt. Colonel Joseph D’Angelo, MD, has been in the US Army National Guard since July 2002.  He served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005 and most recently served in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom, returning to family and practice in Hilo a few weeks ago.

“This is just something I have to do and it’s something I want to do,” D’Angelo said of his deployments.

While in Afghanistan D’Angelo was able to work out on a regular basis to stay in great shape. “The first two months I was at a Forward Operating Base with more amenities and a bigger gym, he said. “The last month was the best time as I was at a small Combat Outpost.  Both of these were in Eastern Afghanistan, a couple of hours north of Jalalabad.”
D’Angelo was located at the “front lines” and his outpost was mortared several times, with night time attacks on the COP several times a week.

“Despite the combat none of our guys were hurt on my watch, except usually by their own doing,” D’Angelo said.  “There were gym accidents, dehydration, as well as viruses, etc.”

On some evenings the attacks came while D’Angelo was in the gym during his workouts which required him to run to his station, and when the all clear was given he returned to the gym.

 “I was much more disciplined with my workout regimen which consisted of an hour ride on a stationary bike,” he said.  “Usually I’d find riding a stationary bike boring, but I read a good book, Last of the Mohicans, and it kept me interested and on the bike longer than my experience had in the past.”

In the larger camp D’Angelo ran the walkway around the helicopter landing zone and learned the hard way about the force of a Black Hawk landing, “I was thrust forward by the force of a Black Hawk into a barely controlled sprint,” he said.

At the smaller camp running was considered too dangerous, given the enemy activity in the area, and D’Angelo was limited to the stationary bike for his aerobic work outs.

For an anaerobic workout D’Angelo focused on his upper body by lifting weights and was very pleased with his progress as he lost some weight and added some muscle tone.

“One thing that helped was working with a very good Air Force Physician’s Assistant who was formerly a personal trainer and had the body of a small, young, Arnold,” D’Angelo said.

From the Physician’s Assistant, D’Angelo learned to do dumb bell curls, dumb bell press, rows, flies and proper sit ups.  “I found that with a single bar bench press it puts too much unnatural stress on the shoulder and rotator cuff and that this is one of the most common injuries,” D’Angelo said.

Dr. D’Angelo staying in shape during deployment

During his last deployment to Iraq D’Angelo began training in Tae Kwon Do and is now a black belt.  “I am hoping to test soon for my 2nd Dan (degree) next year,” he said.  “I also try to do Army Combatives, a combined martial arts form of close hand to hand combat, whenever I can, and prior to deployment, I did Krav Maga, the Israeli martial art.”

 Part of being in the National Guard requires D‘Angelo to participate in general drills once a month and two weeks a year, but his Hilo office remains open providing substitute coverage for him during those periods.

D’Angelo was born in New York and traveled all over the country as his father was employed by the government.  “We moved around a lot so I never really felt that I had a home base or a home town, until I moved to Hilo,” he said.

As a well know pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist in Hilo, D’Angelo has finally found himself a home.  “I’ve lived and practiced here for more than 10 years, which is quite a bit longer than anywhere else that I have ever lived,” he said.

At age 45 D’Angelo is a great role model as he takes good care of his body and promotes health and fitness to his patients.

A proud father of two “wonderful” children, Grace 14 and Vincent 13, D’Angelo enjoys sharing his love for running with them as the three have entered run/walk community events in the past.

Primarily a vegetarian, D’Angelo has added fish to his diet since moving to Hilo.  “I am fundamentally a follower the Tao and consider myself a cross between being Buddhist and Catholic,” he said.

Since returning home D’Angelo has joined Penn’s Fitness gym.  “I decided to keep doing those workouts at home, but I might as well take advantage of all the machines.  Plus they have the punching bags,” he said.

D’Angelo is due for another deployment in about 18 months or around February 2011.

On Wednesday D’Angelo, along with several other veterans, will be on hand to participate in the Veteran’s Day 5K run/walk hosted by Big Dog Productions.

The 3.1-mile run/walk will start at 7:30 am from the entrance to Moku Ola (Coconut Island).  The public is invited to participate and are asked to bring a canned good to be donated to the Hawaii Island Food Basket.

Post event refreshments will be provided and Veterans, including D’Angelo, will be asked to address those in attendance.


November 8, 2009 Posted by | Health and Fitness, Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Dog on Lava 105.3 Monday morning

Lava_Radio logo

Stayed tuned on Monday at 7 am

    The morning show, with Uncle Danny, Eddie O and Iz will have the Big Dog on at 7 am this Monday to talk about the upcoming Veterans Day 5K and the Hilo Marathon.

   If you’re near a radio log onto FM 105.3 and be a part of the discussion by calling in.  And don’t forget to show at the
Veterans Day run, Nov 11, Coconut Island Parking area at 7:30 am to participate in the 5K run/walk.  Bring a canned good for the Hawaii Island Food Basket.

big dog logo

Come run with the Big Dog on Veterans Day

November 8, 2009 Posted by | Events, Running on the Big Island | , , | Leave a comment