Carter Davis Founder of Lift for the 22030 - Dwayne Paro welcomes Carter Davis to today’s podcast. Carter is the founder of Lift For The 22 and was a US Navy Corpsman from 2007-2013. He was medically retired and found that using the gym is a great transitional tool for veterans when getting out of the service. Lift For The 22 partners with gyms across the country who donate gym memberships to the program to be redistributed back to local veterans.

Serving our Great Nation (2:20)

Carter joined the military as a Navy medical corpsman.  He deployed with various foreign entities to help train them in their deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.  Spent time blue side in a clinic.  He went to recon school on the green side.  After getting orders he shattered his leg during an off duty soccer tournament.  This caused him to be medically retired.

Transitioning to Entrepreneurship (5:00)

As he transitioned he was still in a wheel chair.  He experienced various medical issues.  His transition was difficult as a result of the treatments he was experiencing.  This caused several personal issues such as divorce and the thoughts of committing suicide.

“I didn’t have any desire or self esteem when I first got out of the military to a create a business or to do something bigger than myself to help other people, I really had no direction.”

The gym became his place to find peace and reach goals.  This became a revelation for him that this would also help other veterans.  This is where he knew he could become a source of support for many others veterans in transition.  The pharmaceutical solutions are being pushed by the VA but not providing the solution needed.

“We are so programed to take orders.”

A certain amount of education goes on with the gyms to be able to donate the memberships, to hang a banner and do one fund raiser per year for the non-profit.

“We are averaging about a 90% success rate with typical walk in work out facility.”

There is mutual benefit to the facility as a marketing aspect to show they are giving back to their communities and the veterans.  For veterans located where an in network is not available donations of cash are used to get them memberships at their local gyms.  Bringing on a new gym is time consuming and takes multiple contacts to get the gym into the system.

“240,000 veterans are separating from the service every year.”

“Over 50% of the veterans committing suicide are of the older generation.”

The majority of the veterans committing suicide are not combat veterans.  The transition support is broken as veterans are transitioning out.

Some lessons I learned included not to trust everyone who is interested in helping.  You need to be cautious with people and your ideas.  Some don’t have the best of intentions when they engage.

Becoming an entrepreneur forces you to grow quickly as a leader.  Understanding who you are is the most important lesson learned.  It teaches how you are going to react/respond.  It highlights you strengths and weaknesses as you go along.

“Allow yourself to make mistakes.”

How to Contact Carter (30:15)

Website

LinkedIn

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