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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.

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!