Lift for the 22

NOW: Lift for the 22

This is more than kickboxing. It’s therapy.

“Mind, body and spirit. It just makes you feel good.”

Josh Ebert spent 12 years in the army before coming home. But coming home can be easier said than done. That’s where Lift for the 22 comes in.

“I Think it helps them understand that they’re not alone in this fight. That there’s other people that are experiencing thing, say Lift For The 22's executive director Dan Newberry. "It goes to show how much more we can do if we are in this together.”

“They understand what it’s like to struggle when I come back and just training together builds a bond between people.”

“Lift for the 22” was founded 6 years ago with the goal of lowering the veteran suicide epidemic in the U-S which costs 22 lives every day. The non-profit organization offers veterans free gym memberships and classes as a healthy outlet.

“I’ve had people reach out to me…they’ve told me this really pointed me in the right direction, saved my life or inspired them in some way.”

Did this save your life?

“Absolutely…“Not only did I struggle with PTSD, but with the transition itself and the loss of identity.” In July 2015 when I was sitting in my kitchen alone ready to end my life if you were to say I’d be here today I wouldn’t believe you. This is one of those things that gave me the direction, purpose and motivation that I had in the military that I no longer had when I got out.”

Dan leads this weekly kickboxing class at Nova in Oak Creek, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It’s more than a way to work out. It’s a community.

“It’s a big mindset thing. A lot of people in military have a mindset that we have to work hard. You just see the work ethic there.

“Not only do these programs focus on fitness, kick boxing, martial arts, it also focuses on community and comradery and that’s ultimately what people need when going through a transition.”

Lift for the 22 aims to help veterans through that transition to civilian life by teaching them skills like writing resumes. COVID has halted some of their national plans…for now. But Dan is hoping down the road the program can help to veterans all across the country. 

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