COS Student Fights The Good Fight

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COS Student Fights The Good Fight

Inocencio Salazar

Inocencio Salazar

Inocencio Salazar

Jared Salcedo, Sports Editor

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The towers fell and Omar Reneau could do nothing. Being in the service no longer than a year, he was not prepared to see how his life would change, along with the world. Reneau and his bunkmates rushed to their rooms, turned the TV on, and watched the planes attack the World Trade Center.

“The moment the second plane hit the tower the room was silent. We knew we were going to war.” At that moment, Reneau’s life took an abrupt turn.

Reneau is a Marine Veteran, who served for six years from 2001-2006 and is now involved in MMA cage fighting.  When Reneau joined the Marines, his father challenged him. His father told him that he wouldn’t have what it takes to be a Marine.

“I joined the military when I was 18 years old. My father said I wouldn’t make it and I took the challenge”, said Reneau

His father drove him to pursue the Marines after high school. Reneau loved the people he met and saw firsthand the horrors of war. The major incident during his time in the Marines was on September 11, 2001 when America was attacked.  

“We realized why we wanted to become a marine showed right there on TV,” he said. “It said ‘This is why you’re gonna go to war.’”

He saved 12 lives overseas and received the Navy and Marine Commendation Medal for Valor. When he came back, Reneau wondered about the names of those he saved during the war. He does not know what happened to the 12 lives he saved or even what their names are. He hopes they’re away from the danger still going on in the Middle East. Reneau’s military experience changed his perspective on life and he believes people should be grateful for the life they have.

After his tenure in the Marine Corps, Reneau began MMA Fighting. He says it gives him peace in life and helps him escape from his past experiences that live with him forever. Training gives him motivation for future accomplishments in the cage whether it’s hitting the bag or working on his wrestling game.

“It’s like accomplishing a self goal,” he says. “It’s the little things that help me get better/preparing for a fight.”

Omar wants to make a name for himself by fighting in the UFC just like his sister Marion Reneau, who is also a former COS student and alumni in track. Omar Reneau, juggles school and MMA training everyday. He does get tired, but comes home to his two daughters who love him in and out of the cage.

When Reneau has free time, he loves to spend time with his daughters, go hiking, and play the piano. Reneau’s behavior has changed when compared to his youth because now at 36, he wants to be remembered as a great man who walked with God.

“Most importantly, I want to be allowed to love and show I can love whomever,” said Reneau.

Reneau has grown over the years since his deployment in the Middle East. He takes life day by day and live it to his best he would say.

“You got one shot to make a great life” Reneau said, “Go make it count”.

Not too many people appreciate their life because of the challenges that might be too tough or impossible. Reneau wants to challenge everyone to appreciate their life even when it seems impossible to climb out of at times.

“There’s a lot of good left in the world,” said Reneau. “One bad day won’t last forever.”