New Albany gym and charity join forces to fight veteran suicide
Active Heroes partners with GrayStone Performance to open military family community center in New Albany
NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- A unique partnership between a private business and a charity could help save the lives of some American heroes.
Active Heroes cut the ribbon Wednesday on a new military family community center inside a private gym, GrayStone Performance, in downtown New Albany.
Ten percent of the gym's membership fees go to fund suicide prevention programs for veterans such as Joshua Leary, who suffered a brain injury during an Army tour in Afghanistan in 2010. His brain is literally shutting off his eyesight.
“I can see four feet in front of me at the best,” he said.
Leary also has PTSD, so it was a tough adjustment when his military career came to an end after 16 years.
“It is kind of hard to jump back into society when you're so used to military the whole time,” he said.
Leary and his wife Glenda attended the ribbon cutting and say they are excited about the opening of the community center.
“This facility opening up will help a lot of people,” Joshua Leary said.
The facility contains workout equipment and treatment rooms for acupuncture and massage. There will also be classes and family activities, a place for veterans and their families to work out and work through tough times together.
Active Heroes’ mission is to reduce the number of veteran suicides, estimated at 20 a day, nationally.
“Building the family around the veteran and giving them a sense of purpose once they return home,” said Troy Yocum, founder of Active Heroes.
The programs are free for veterans, thanks to the partnership with GrayStone. Owner Adam Smith is also an Army vet.
“The membership fees will help keep the gym open, and the revenue generated helps keep Active Heroes supported and driving forward,” he said.
Active Heroes hopes to take the business model and expand free suicide prevention programs for veterans across the country.
“With this combo, this partnership, we solved that issue, and now we can focus on how many veterans we're going to be able to serve,” Yocum said.
Joshua and Glenda Leary said they're grateful to have this kind of support close to home.
“It sends a message that our veterans and our families are not forgotten,” Glenda Leary said..
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