Panama City Beach Club Partners with Lift For The 22 and Area Veterans

Posted on June 14, 2017

By Gina Farthing | Special to The News Herald
Posted May 27, 2017 at 11:08 AM

“The military gives you everything, but when that’s shut off, you have to do everything for yourself,” said Chris Gately, a former Marine.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Chris Gately, a former Marine, runs the Workout Anytime franchise in Panama City Beach, and to commemorate Memorial Day, his gym has partnered with Lift for the 22, an organization founded by Carter Davis, a former Navy corpsman, to fight veteran suicides through gym memberships.

“The military gives you everything, but when that’s shut off, you have to do everything for yourself,” Gately said. “The military treats you differently — you are told what to do. You have to relearn everything on the outside.”

The stress from relearning can cause psychological issues for some, he said. For Davis, it was his own brush with suicide that provided the impetus toward working out as part of the solution to avoid a self-inflicted end. In 2015, he started Lift for the 22 in honor of the often cited 22 veterans who die from suicide each day, a number in dispute by the federal government and other organizations.

“I went to the VA and I was processed through the ER for six hours, but not seen,” Davis said. “I left against medical advice because I didn’t feel supported.”

Davis called his buddies who drove two hours to be with him to try to help.

“They took me to the gym and worked it out of me,” he said. “I couldn’t feel the anxiety or depression anymore. I was too tired.”

Davis said he also has personally known seven veterans who have committed suicide.

Though studies have been and are in the process of being conducted, no set reason has been given for the high number of veteran suicides. Still, Davis wanted to do something about it “rather than just talking.”

In July 2015, the first three free memberships in the Lift for the 22 program were sponsored.

“Workout Anytime is our dominant gym; they were the first ones to work with us,” Davis said. “So far we’ve put out 3,000 memberships per year without spending a dollar.”

Gately, who opened his franchise in 2012, is committed to giving 22 free memberships to veterans in need.

“We want to start a community,” he said. “Go to the website and apply; then Carter will let us know.”

For more information, visit Lift for the 22 online at: http://www.liftforthe22.org, Workout Anytime at 12117 Back Beach Road, Panama City Beach, or call 850-708-1247, or online at http://workoutanytime.com/panama-city-beach