Since WORKOUT ANYTIME, the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week fitness concept, joined forces with Lift For The 22 last year, the partnership has helped more than 160 veterans suffering from transitional depression and anxiety by providing them with free fitness memberships. WORKOUT ANYTIME has made more than $1 million in memberships available to support Lift For The 22. Now, this past Veterans Day, the national brand once again offered free workouts to all veterans that provide proof of service. This year, veterans visited any one of WORKOUT ANYTIME’s over 100 locations nationwide to receive a 22-day “Lift Ticket” for free access to the gym for 22 days.
Lift for the 22, in recognition of the staggering statistic that 22 veterans commit suicide daily, is a veteran transitional support organization designed to decrease veteran suicides due to depression and anxiety felt after returning home. Since fitness is a solution to help veterans feel better physically and mentally, the program purchases and receives donated gym memberships from fitness facilities across the country and re-distributes them to veterans in the community. Every year, gyms at participating businesses have 22 free memberships available for veterans. And to date, the program has provided over 500 gym memberships to veterans around the country.
“Carter Davis, the founder of Lift for the 22, has created a necessary outlet to help our brave servicemen and women who give so much for our country get back on their feet,” said Mark de Gorter, chief operating officer at WORKOUT ANYTIME. “Our goal is to continue helping these veterans during such a critical time in their transition, and do our part to help bring down that daily number from 22 to zero.”
When Davis returned home from active duty in 2013, he suffered from depression as he lost his identity from his separation from the military. This eventually resulted in a divorce that drove him to almost become one of the 22. Davis found that the local veteran’s services weren’t meeting his needs—instead, he found solace in pairing camaraderie with exercise. Noticing the frequency of his fellow servicemen and women taking their own lives around him, he knew something had to be done. In search of a solution, Davis created a hometown network of veterans committed to helping one another transition effectively and preventing suicide among their peers.
“I want to provide veterans across the country with the same camaraderie we experienced in the military,” Davis said. “Being able to connect with other local vets who have shared experiences similar to your own is very healing. We’ve found that pairing this support with exercise has helped veterans across the country cope, and this partnership with WORKOUT ANYTIME will allow us to greatly expand our reach. In fact, since the launch of the partnership last year, we’re proud to report that there have been zero incidents of anyone in their program committing suicide.”
When Neil Viertel returned home after serving with the U.S. Navy for 11 years, he struggled to get back on his feet and find work to support his wife and family of four kids. He turned to Lift for the 22 and WORKOUT ANYTIME for help.
“I too almost became a statistic, but Lift for the 22 was there when I needed something and someone. They have helped me crawl out of the dark hole I was in,” Viertel said. “Lift for the 22 has connected me to thousands of other veterans that I never knew were out there. I feel like I finally belong again, and I am forever grateful to this organization and I will never forget them or their mission.”
The cause is especially close to the heart of WORKOUT ANYTIME’s Co-Founder and President John Quattrochi, who is a veteran of the Air Force. This year, by once again partnering with Lift for the 22, he hopes to give away as many as 2000 free memberships throughout the country.
“As a veteran myself, I can relate to Carter and other veterans in the program. And as the co-founder of WORKOUT ANYTIME, I understand the positive impact that exercise can have on a person’s life,” Quattrochi said. “It’s really special for me, and for the company as a whole, to get to be a supporter of this specials organization and to hopefully play a larger role in helping these veterans return to a normal and healthy civilian life.”