Lift For The 22
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Founder Nearly Became Statistic, Lift 22 Changing Lives

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Community Support
Athletes in Motion
Athletes in Motion
Active Military
Active Military
May 30, 2017
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In the United States there are over 21 million veterans. On average 22 of those veterans commit suicide daily. Lift For The 22 is looking to change that and quickly.As a young man, Carter Davis, Founder and CEO of Lift For The 22, knew he wanted to be a Navy Corpsman. His plan was to continue active duty for 20 years and make it his full career. Unfortunately, a leg injury ended his time on active duty early. Very early. Suddenly, Davis was separated from the Navy, his marriage falling apart, in chronic pain from his leg injury and living in Los Angeles in the only home he could afford. He hit rock bottom on the day his wife left him.

Getting Help

Sitting in his living room with a gun in his mouth, he looked at his dog and realized that the VA was just two blocks away. “If I kill myself right now it’s going to be a joke,” Davis said thinking back on that day. “It will be front page news that a veteran only two blocks from the VA couldn’t even get help. I decided to go to try to get some help at the VA.”Nearly six hours after arriving at the VA, sitting in a prison-style holding room and feeling ignored, Carter left the VA with full intentions of pulling the trigger and committing suicide. Luckily, he called two battle buddies who lived in San Diego. They sprung into action and told him to keep himself busy while they made the drive to his house. They arrived in workout gear. Davis was confused at first, but after a tough workout, he could feel the stress and anxiety leaving his body and mind. “My mind calmed down when I exhausted my body,” said Davis.

A Better Outlet

In that moment, the idea for Lift For The 22 was born. Davis realized all the good that he could do for his fellow veterans if they simply had the opportunity to work out like he did with fellow veterans who could understand him. According to the Mayo Clinic, research on anxiety, depression and exercise shows that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help reduce anxiety and improve mood. Lift For The 22 provides gym memberships for veterans to help them reduce anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Preventative Medicine

Similarly, Founder and COO Dennis Cory Wright II had a rough transition as well. Separating in early 2001, Wright struggled with a sense of guilt. 10 years out and finding himself still self-medicating at the bottom of a bottle, Wright realized that he needed to find a new sense of service. By joining Davis with Lift For The 22, Wright was able to rediscover that sense of service.“We consider ourselves preventative medicine,” said Wright. “We want to get to the veteran community before they start having these issues. We want to keep them from going down the wrong path. We want them to go from their unit on base to their unit at home.”After starting Lift For The 22 both Davis and Wright are seeing the fruits of their labor with each successful gym placement. Ultimately they are aiming at becoming an official part of the military separation process but know that goal is likely years down the road. For now, they are focusing on placing veterans as quickly as possible.

New Challenges

Lift For The 22 works not only for the veterans but also for the gyms that have partnered. Most gyms have seen 1-3 new members for each membership they’ve given to a veteran. In addition, 85% of all fundraising money that a gym helps raise for Lift For The 22 goes directly back into that gym as memberships and personal training sessions.Lift For The 22 has partnered with many gyms across the country but currently has 341 veterans on a waiting list as the team works to partner with more gyms and raise funds to help pay for the additional memberships. In order to pay for those 341 memberships and end the backlog, Lift For The 22 is raising money via their Facebook page.

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