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Operation Vet Fit

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Military & Veterans Organizations, Sports, Veterans

Mission: Operation Vet-Fit's mission is to assist our nation's combat veterans, active duty members and affected family members through advocacy, exercise, fitness, and group based motivational activities and events. Operation Vet-Fit is accomplishing this mission through free fitness club memberships, personal training, group training and group based motivational events geared toward fostering a healthy transition following combat service. Additionally we serve as a free liaison supporting veterans with service connected disabilities by assisting in the process of locating, accessing, and navigating the many available veterans benefits currently being offered.

Results: To date: Operation Vet Fit serves 115 combat veterans, helping them apply for, appeal, or improve access to Veterans Affairs benefits including education, medical, legislative and supportive service. Our combat veterans enjoy full and free usage of the Private Studio Fitness facility 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Many of our veterans have benefited from our weekend camping events, river rafting trips, NCAA football and basketball games, golf outings, sports car racing, Super Bowl parties, back yard concerts, recognition dinners and more. Several of our returning combat veterans have enrolled into colleges while others have graduated with degrees in Political Science, Law, Psychology, Buisness, Leadership and more. Our members have contributed many of their success, both mental and physical to the programs offered at Operation Vet Fit. Some have deemed our programs "life saving", "Life altering" and "inspiring"

Target demographics: Combat Veterans

Direct beneficiaries per year: 115 combat veterans and many more family members

Geographic areas served: United States

Programs: Assistance and advocacy in accessing available veterans benefits including: Legislative aid, Veterans Affairs benefits, and a growing number of non-profit based veterans assistance programs. Serving as a liaison with local, state and national veterans organizations and programs including, but not limited to Help our Military Heroes, Entrepreneurial Boot Camp for Veterans, Working Vessels for Veterans, the Wounded Warrior Program, the OIF/OEF Coalition, Team Rubicon, and many more.

Community Stories

64 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 mjzacchea

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have extensive national experience as a veterans advocate and activist. I am honored to have been part of Operation Vet-Fit at its inception. It is a genuine grass-roots veterans community helping local veterans. Dan Gaita has gone to extraordinary lengths to make Op Vet-Fit the best not-for-profit for veterans that he can. He and his wife Erin are sustained by their passion and sense of community and camaraderie with our local veterans. This is definitely a worth-while not-for-profit doing important work that goes beyond just a gym. The gym usage is simply a gateway to more extensive services for the important transition work of reintegrating veterans into a post-combat, post-military civilian role, through work-force re-entry opportunities and access to education benefits.

Comments ( 1 )

yotwdy This is what we do. This is who we are.

1 Timmy2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This great group of volunteers helped me in the past and now whenever I hear a veteran is in need, I automatically send them to these guys. They are a great asset to all veterans.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had an issue with my VA comp and pension paperwork and filing process so I contacted this organization for assistance. I spoke with Dan Gaita and after a phone call and then a brief meeting he drew up a roadmap for me and how he saw the process going in my case. With his assistance I was able to get the answers needed and the organization was a big help. Semper Fi

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2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently had a problem with my employer not wanting to grant a reasonable accommodation for me to attend CPT appointments related to my service connected condition. I reached out to Dan Gaita and operation Vet Fit for help. Dan and his staff at operation Vet Fit immediately addressed my problem with a vigor and enthusiasm that is second to none. Through education, support and honoring the commitment that "No man is left behind " we were able to pressure a fortune 500 company to obey the law. Dan Gaita and staff are truly an invaluable resource for the veteran community. I strongly urge any veteran having an issue, or just a simple question to not hesitate to reach out and support Dan Gaita and operation Vet Fit.
Semper Fi
Barry R Thames

2 Joe_100

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet-Fit is one of the Greats. I would trust Daniel and Erin Gaita with my Life they are so passionate about what they do for our War Hero's and go above and beyond. Their tireless efforts are commendable and admirable. Thank you very much for giving these Combat Veteran's a vehicle to carry the transition from war zone to civilian life. As a former Veteran it is not a easy transition for many so this association with like minded vets gives piece of mind and hope for us all.
May God Bless you and your family so you may continue this honorable work for many years to come.

SP4 Joseph Schirmer US Army Veteran

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Marines from Battery T, 5th Bn, 10th Marines met for a second reunion Labor Day weekend 2016 at Outer Banks, NC. Most Marines present served together in Mogadishu, Somalia(Operation Continue Hope) and Haiti(Operation Support Democracy). Some of us had not seen each other in over 20 years and came in from all over the nation including Oregon, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, and New York.
This event was incredibly important and impactful in that it brought brothers-in-arms back together after so many years to share in experiences that have profoundly affected our lives.
It was in this rare setting and brief period of time that we could hold conversations in which we could not have had with any other and feel perfectly comfortable doing so. The experience was heart-felt, therapeutic, and rejuvenating to those long held, highly valued friendships.
We came together because of all this and we came together, some with personal financial hardship, with no expectations of assistance.
This is where organizations like Operation Vet Fit are so critically important. OVF founder, Dan Gaita, proactively and intentionally saw the opportunity to assist this event. And it's because of OVF's logistical, financial, and VA benefit educational/awareness support that the reunion was such a tremendous success. Even Hurricane Hermine couldn't undermine this event as it rolled over us.
So, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to MGySgt Michael Garcia for donating his home for this event and to OVF and its founders Dan & Erin Gaita for seizing this opportunity to positively impact our Marine veteran community. They truly demonstrate the value of taking care of our own.

Semper Fi and God Bless,

Jon Power

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been a member of OVF for a few years now, and it has changed my life. Before joining, I had gotten up to 240lbs, was out of shape, unmotivated, and on the road to being booted out of the military. Dan Gaita gave me a few swift boots to the butt, and pushed me to the point that in 2014 I completed my 1st Spartan Race. Since then I have run several 5Ks and 2 10Ks. Without the motivation, camaraderie, and support of the members, I honestly don't know where I would be now. I have let myself slip in recent months, but I will remain in contact with Dan and continue my hard work at OVF. My current plan is to do another Spartan Race this year, if not complete my Spartan Trifecta. With the help of OVF the sky's the limit! Thank you Dan, and thank you OVF!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I reached out to the organization for assiatnce in writing my comp and pension submission forms for the VA a few months back. Mr. Gaita helped me in person and via emails, answered each of my questions in detail and even followed-up with me a month later to be sure all was going well. Thank you and I appreciate the assistance from a fellow combat veteran.

1 Darnell C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit has helped my in my reintegration back into the civilian society by providing different activities and support services, be it helping in getting paperwork that I needed together, or just taking me on outing to recoup and recharge. The organization has helped me find my way in society and teach me that I am able to still give back to my community.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit is one of the best charities serving our nations hero's. The members are all very supportive of each other and will go above and beyond for their members and just the members of the veteran community. Since being discharged from the military have have found that many organizations that claim to help veterans are very lacking. Operation Vet Fit is a breath of fresh air. There are no paid board members so every dollars goes directly to helping veterans.

1 Dan_56

Board Member

Rating: 5

What we do goes beyond our mission and impacts the lives of our combat veterans and their families in ways we can not measure. We are in this together and I can not thank you enough for your trust, brotherhood, camaraderie and support. Per Aspera As Astra!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our Mission: is to assist our nation's combat veterans, active duty members and affected family members through exercise, fitness, and group based motivational activities and events. Operation Vet-Fit is accomplishing this mission through free fitness club memberships, personal training, group training and group based motivational events geared toward fostering a healthy transition following combat service. Additionally we serve as a free liaison supporting veterans with service connected disabilities by assisting in the process of locating, accessing, and navigating the many available veterans benefits currently being offered.

Vision
To embolden our next generation and inspire a greater future for all who have served our nation in combat

Values
Purpose - Achievement - Service - Integrity

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit has been a key role in my transition back into the civilian sector. By providing me with affordable access to an amazing facility, I was able to maintain physical fitness which in turn provides mental fitness during the beginning of my transition. OVF also assisted my enrollment into college so I could continue my education. There is so much that my family and I have been able to achieve with the guidance that was provided to us. Thank you OVF, I don't think I would have been able to get this far without your help.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dan is a great person and I am honored to know him. As a veteran I feel more comfortable at his gym than at any other. There is always something to look forward to on the bulliten board and Dan keeps in touch with members on upcoming events. I sometimes stop by the gym just to see what's new and take a break from long walks from my house. I have found lots of useful veteran information and the place is exceptionally clean and organized. Best of all, the gym is open 24 hours day or night.

2 Todd30

Client Served

Rating: 5

A great facility with 24 hours access which is crucial as a combat veteran with PTSD. Sleep isn't always guaranteed, but having the ability to get a workout in whenever we want is great and has a direct positive impact on combat veterans. Dan is great and truly cares about the veterans, including trips arranged from funding the gym brings in. This is so great for a local level to have. Thanks Dan!

1 Peter53

Client Served

Rating: 5

Impressive equipment. Gym is always neat
and clean. Location is very convenient.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit and Dan Gaita have given me the help and support when I needed it the most.
Thank you for your dedication to such a great organization .

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit is an amazing organization. Since joining in 2013 Daniel Gaita had taken a personal interest in helping me with the VA, encouraging me to seek treatment for PTSD and gave me someone to talk to. I would like to thank Dan and everyone involved with the organization.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

By being a part of Operation Vet-Fit I was able to get back onto shape and change my life with the help of Dan Gaita. Without Dan's knowledge, help, and motivation I would not be where I am today. Dan helps veterans like myself connect and encourages socialization to aid in our transition into the civilian world. By using exercise and group activities he helps veterans stay motivated, which I feel is important as many veterans including myself return home and develop PTSD. Operation Vet-Fit was a crucial part of my transition to civilian life and I am forever grateful.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization. I witnessed the tremendous progress my brother made while working through his PTSD with OpVetFit. The hard work the Gaita's and the community have put into the organization since it's inception and the patriotism they represent is truly appreciated as well as inspirational.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The staff at Operation Vet Fit are so caring and hepful. Great team to work with.

Andrew74

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love the facility and atmosphere as a combat vet I appreciate having a great gym to go to

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dan is an outstanding person and is always there for you and your family. OVF is a great program and its one of a kind.

1 Rick46

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a member of OVF for some time now. Although I fall off my physical fitness every now and then, Dan and the other Vets are always there to help me get back up. The atmosphere in OVF is nothing like I have ever seen when it comes to gyms on civilian side. The Vet members are always available to talk if need be, and the civilian members are nothing but supportive. I have tried to introduce many more NG members to OVF, but the distance from most of their homes is too far. Thank you for everything you have done, and continue to do. My transition home from Afghanistan would have been much different If I hadn't met Dan Gaita.

Steve Costa

Client Served

Rating: 5

Since moving back to Connecticut in July 2014, Operation Vet Fit was and still is the highlight for me returning back to a healthier lifestyle. The equipment and staff are an invaluable resource to me meeting my fitness and diet goals. I can not be thankful enough for such a needed resource to Combat Veterans like myself. I can only wish that organizations like Operation Vet Fit could be established everywhere Combat Veterans are so they too can experience the positive impact it has had on my life.

James143

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dan's outstanding work is a pillar of our community.

Thomas37

Client Served

Rating: 5

Gave me an opportunity to reintegrate myself into society through physical fitness

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is one of the greatest things that's happened to veterans in the danbury bethel area.
I can't be grateful enough to operation vet fit and the management of the facility.
Thank you so very much
Anthony Corona

Edwin Z.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best gym for veterans to go and workout with other veterans. Dan is an amazing person and loves what he is doing. Thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit has given me an opportunity to stay fit throughout the year whenever my schedule allows me to access the gym. It is 5 minutes from my house and open all day and night. The equipment is plentiful and Dan is available if you need anything. Great place.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit provides membership and services to combat veterans of all conflicts. As a Vietnam veteran it provides me with the opportunity to exercise and associate with younger combat veterans. I am also grateful for the recognition of my service.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great gym always a positive atmosphere. Op vet fit has helped me train for marathons and numorous events and challanges. I couldnt be happier with op vet. It has helped me keep active bu providing a free place to work out. I hope to attend some events that op vet fit puts on because they always look fun!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a great place for vets to interact and enjoy a good work out.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I joined Operation Vet Fit when I was looking for a gym where I could go and be myself and feel as though I was a valued member. OVF provided that and so much more. The membership is comprised of military members, all of whom understand the trials and tribulations of coming home from deployments and feeling out of touch with much of society. They are there to pick you up and help you get back on your feet, and to cheer you on during your accomplishments. Dan and Erin have provided a much needed service to area service members and veterans. I hope that they can continue to provide this service for years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I must give Operation Vet Fit a 5 because it has been a vehicle for my development as aproductive member of society. I have attended many functions and spend a decent amount if time with various members and have left each event with valuable experiences and life lessons. Being able to "check in" to the gym without actually checking in with anyone when I don't want to be bothered so I can relieve whatever frustrations has also be helpful towards my personal growth. To be a part of an organization in which the CEO takes personal time to help other veterans to ensure that they don't have to handle their struggles -whatever they may be- alone is reason enough for me to give this a 5/5 rating. However, I would like to see the members of OVF participate more with the functions - varying from events to volunteer work aimed to help others wiki need some sort if assistance. I look forward to more experiences with OVF. Thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a member of vet fit has literally changed my life.Dan and Erin are great and provide a vital service in town especially to our veterans. The cammarderie is special and on going and it makes you feel good to part of something greater.The road trips,football games,river rafting are just a few of the things happening. Any vet across the tri state area shoud check out vet fit and get motivated

Client Served

Rating: 5

This charity gives something of the most importance to vets - the ability to remain healthy. Vets of all ages can find it difficult staying active, especially those who are returning from service with health issues. Operation Vet Fit makes a difference!

Client Served

Rating: 5

A very supportive non-profit that undoubtedly puts vets first and foremost. I'm very fortunate to have such a resource available to me!

Ray_20

Client Served

Rating: 5

All great love this place Very cleans inviting really feels comfortable

1 Chris163

Client Served

Rating: 5

I joined OVF shortly after returning home from deployment. It was perfect for me as it provided me with a charity membership that allowed me to motivate myself and develop myself physically through a financial hardship. It's truly a 24/7 gym which means I would show up any time of day and not have to wait for equipment or worry about its cleanliness.

1 Dirk F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit has helped me in numerous ways. First and foremost it provides a safe and comfortable place to work out either alone or with other veterans.

Dans knowledge and experience as a business owner has played a critical roll in helping me in my business.

2 Kevin101

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit runs on the energy and enthusiasm of its founder, Dan Gaita. I like the facility, mainly for the camaraderie and support it provides for Veterans in the area. I don't get to the gym nearly as often as I would like, but truly enjoy my time there when I do make it.

Dan has inspired me to become involved more in Veteran Service Organizations around the state, and I am sure he has done the same for others involved at the gym.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since returning from theater, Dan and the crew of OVF have been nothing shy of helpful, supportive and all around great. I have felt nothing but acceptance and family like feelings from them. With all the invites to events and outtings has really given me something to do out side of school.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Vet-Fit is a phenominal charity to have in the community for local veterans. The Gaitas not only encourage our veterans to become more physically active but encourages them to cope with mental stress through exercise. Not only do they provide this facility for our local veterans but have a wide range of social outings so they can feel that commadre again as they once did when they were in the military. They devote their lives to our veterans, helping them in every way that they can.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Operation vet fit is a great gym! I hated using other gyms till I can here Erin and Dan are always willing to help you with anything that you need! It's clean and well put together. I would definitely suggest this gym to others.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I went to Operation Vet Fit I was a heavy drinker and over 300 pounds. The PTSD from serving in Viet Nam seriously impacted my life. Then I met Dan Gaita and started at Operation Vet Fit. I am now down to my 240's and no longer a heavy drinker.

I can truly say that this is all due to Dan's training methods and patience. He understands that personal training is not a one size fits all. He is concerned about the whole person, not just the exercise. He was able to design a training program that I could, and can, stick to.

But it's not just how good I feel physically now that I exercise regularly at Operation Vet Fit. The camaraderie and emotional support that I get there I could not find elsewhere. The PTSD won't go away but it doesn't rule my life thanks to all that Dan has put into place for the combat veteran.

C D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit does more for our local heroes than most.

1 Stephen41

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was the first non Veteran member of this exceptionally run gym. I was a First Responder to the events of 9/11 and suffer from PTSD. I can not say enough about the mind body connection and the importance of exercise in my life. Dan and Erin have welcomed me with open arms and made me part of their family.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization provides for the not only the physical well being of it's veterans but also the a place for socializing. It helps in dealing with PTSD by providing a healthy outlet for stress. It provides a supportive atmosphere for veterans. Dan Gaita is providing a valuable service for all the members.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I cannot begin to let everyone know just how valuable Operation Vet Fit is. My husband is one of the vets who has benefited in more ways than I can list from his association with Operation Vet Fit in general and Dan Gaita in particular.

Physically, my husband has lost over 60 pounds since starting at the gym under Dan's guidance. He has gone from being winded walking up the driveway to exercising 5-6 days a week and feeling great. He was actually considering knee replacement surgery because he could barely walk and now he can walk for hours.

But that is only part of the story. He has done so well because Operation Vet Fit provides our veterans with a place that says "we honor, respect and thank you" for all the sacrifices that you have made on our behalf. The support that Dan provides in every aspect that the veteran needs cannot be overstated. If all charities were as dedicated and true as Operation Vet Fit is, there would be so many more people helped.

1 Will22

Client Served

Rating: 4

The service provided by VetFit is a critical and valuable service to service members who are suffering from PTSD and other service related injuries. Vet Fit's ability to provide individuals with a service that is specific and catered to individual needs provides an environment where the veterans can relax and or rehabilitate at their leisure.

1 John276

Client Served

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit makes tangible the concept of "support for the veterans community". While many can say the right words, Dan Gaita has made those words come alive.

The facility itself reflects "pride" and I often wonder about how many people have been touched in various ways as they walk by the window. Certainly those with husbands, wives, sons, daughter, grandsons and granddaughters on active duty have to be moved by this facility and what it represents.

Dan Gaita is passionate about what he is doing and this is evidenced in the way he approaches Operation Vet Fit. In my experience veterans have learned not to expect too much. Dan and Vet Fit break that mold. He makes the members feel that their service to our country is valued. He makes the world a better place by what he is doing and I just wish other towns and states could clone him because he is really making a difference here in the Bethel community.

JohnS

4 SgtMajE

Advisor

Rating: 5

The driving force behind Operation Vet Fit is Danny Gaita, a man who goes out of his way to make others feel important. He is generous with his time and resources and genuine to the organization's purpose. He is man of principle who truly places the needs and concerns of others ahead of his own. His efforts set an example for leaders in the community to emulate and keeps veteran's issues relevant in a contemporary society where the armed services are at war while the rest of America is at the mall. Operation Vet Fit does more with minimal resources than any organization of its kind that I know of. Seeking sustainable solutions to the myriad problems plaguing our combat veterans is no easy task. I applaud the courage and tenacity of this organization and admire the way that Danny knows everyone personally by name and can tell you about each veteran's service as well. His give a damn meter is pegged. That is a leader.

3 Bradley N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Vet-Fit provides a great service to the community of Veterans not only in the Bethel area but around the country. This is achieved by building a community of like minded veterans who will assist and be there for each other. Vet Fit offers a number of different services to veterans, such as ; free access to a gym with supplements abound, free fitness classes, free and discounted outdoor trips where te healing power of nature comes into play, a veterans lounge with full facilities (kitchen, internet, etc.), a "bunker" where vets can get together and watch sporting events in a comfortable and judgement free environment (well as much as possible with a group of veterans ;-p). All in all operation Vet Fit has found a niche to fill for veterans who have seen little community support from townships and government. Keep up the good work OVF!

2 Matt72

Client Served

Rating: 5

A fantastic organization that really caters to veterans and supporters alike. The amount of commitment and effort that is put into OVF should be emulated by more organizations without a doubt, and I am proud to say that I am a member of Operation Vet-Fit.

1 Danny H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit is one of the most helpful charities around. No one does more for our local heroes than Dan Gaita and I am proud to be a member and supporter of this organization.

2 Richard93

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PVF is a great organization that's main purpose is to help veterans. I am pleased with the time and effort put forth in every function they work on from the 5K We Run For Them to the golf outing just held. We are lucky to have them in our town.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit is doing a great job helping Veterans. I am proud to be a part of this organization. Dan really puts in a lot for this organization.

2

Board Member

Rating: 4

Operation Vet Fit provides physical, mental and spiritual support to veterans who have seen active combat. Many of the members are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and are suffering from substance abuse, PTSD as well as physical and mental issues.
Operation Vet Fit is a place for veterans to go to enjoy camaraderie with fellow veterans and to support one another. It is an important organization and provides an invaluable service to our nations heroes.
Valerie Eriquezzo

1 Jonathan38

Client Served

Rating: 4

Operation Vet Fit is an excellent charity. They provide fitness equipment access to combat veterans amongst other activities and events. I am very grateful for the Gaitas

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Operation Vet Fit is doing an amazing job helping Veterans. Dan and Erin are truly dedicated to their mission and I am very proud to be a part of this organization. The best nonprofit organization I know!!!!

1 Erin61

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud and honored to be working with my husband with our charity. Our veterans deserve EVERYTHING that is available when they get back home from fighting for our freedom. Our passion and mission is to make sure combat veterans returning home and have returned home from prior wars, know they are appreciated and have access to what they have earned by way of benefits, education etc. We also created a place for them to come and exercise and meet not only other combat veterans, but supportive community donors. We are blessed to know everyone that we have met, collaborate with and build our charity with. If you can pass the word and leave a review it is greatly appreciated. We are always open to feedback and ideas as to how to better serve our community and combat veterans. We are blessed in the relationships we have formed, and the daily reminders of how many wonderful people we have in our community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization run by great people! A perfect example of helping others that comes from pure motivation from the heart and their desire to take care of those that have taken care of us by fighting for their country!