Murrells Inlet trainer using gym to empower, support veterans

Murrells Inlet trainer using gym to empower, support veterans

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) -- In the United States roughly 22 veterans a day take their own lives every day.

Many veterans struggle with depression or post-traumatic stress when they return home from active duty.

For most sports and fitness is an escape from reality, for retired Army veteran Dan Newberry it gave him the purpose and motivation he sought after returning home from the military.

Newberry is a personal trainer for “Lift for the 22” which along with an intense workout offers veterans a number of local resources to connect with in their community.

Their goal, to get retired veterans back into the gym to build a connection with people and retired veterans in their cities.

Newberry himself served in the United States Army from 2004 to 2012 and suffered from PTSD after returning home.

It was through fitness Newberry found comfort following his time in the service.

“It gives you that motivation to keep going and ask yourself what can I do next, me personally I found self-confidence again and identity post military service,” said Newberry.

Newberry has turned his love for fitness into a career while raising awareness about veteran suicide through the “Lift for the 22” fitness program.

It’s named for the roughly 22 veterans that die from suicide each day in the United States.

Retired Veterans Hope Epton and Dean Shepard took part the Fitness22 work out and also turned to fitness after retiring from the military.

“I really enjoy coming here with the loud music, the coaches that motivate you, working out in a group that’s what works better for me,” said Dean Shepard.

Following the high energy work out Veterans had the chance to socialize with each other and connect with local veteran resource groups.

“He’s a blessing not only for our community to come into it to provide this type of service but going across the country to make this tour he’s going to make a difference,” said Chris Aranda with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Lift for the 22 continues to share their message across the country, in hopes more veterans continue to connect in Myrtle Beach.

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