BILLINGS — One Billings man has made helping veterans his mission and this Saturday, personal trainer Jim Thompson and his team are trying to complete 20,000 burpees for vets.
It’s a challenge that other gyms in town have also jumped on, all to raise money for our nation’s heroes.
Helping veterans reassimilate to civilian life is a huge part of Thompson’s personal mission.
“We living in the greatest country in the world and we’ve had all these opportunities because people decided to put on the cloth and wear for our country and sacrifice everything for us,” said Thompson on Thursday.
The personal trainer is on the board of the Mark Divine Courage Foundation, a nonprofit that serves vets.
“We mitigate post-traumatic stress and foster post-traumatic growth in order to facilitate and help the veterans so that they can help others,” Thompson said.
This is the fourth year he’s participated in Burpees for Vets, a national movement that uses burpees to raise money to help veterans.
“We are going to do burpees for 24 hours,” said Thompson.
Thompson and his team are trying to raise $20,000 by doing 20,000 burpees at Beartooth Performance this Saturday.
“If anybody wants to donate they can, and just come in and watch people suffer,” Thompson said.
But anybody can participate from anywhere and raise money on their own. This year, several gyms in the Billings community have joined the movement, like F45.
“You can buy burpees for any of the coaches in the studio and each dollar amount that is raised, we have to do that number of burpees,” said F45 instructor, Rebecca Avery.
The fitness studio is offering free military-inspired workouts to the community this Friday and Saturday but coaches will be doing their burpees on Veterans Day.
“I have to do 57 right now so you can find my link, if you want to donate to make me do more, I’m totally cool with it,” Avery said.
The goal of the Burpees for Vets movement is to raise $100,000 this year. Thompson’s team has raised nearly $2,000 so far but he’s not done yet.
“I’ve got a couple different QR codes you can scan, and you can either make me do burpees or you can set up your own kind of deal,” said Thompson.
One hundred percent of the money raised from this movement go to vetted charities that support veterans' transition back into civilian life.
“They’re heroes, they’re not victims, and we just need to give them the right tools to get them back on track,” Thompson said.
If you’d like to learn more about Burpees for Vets, visit BurpeesForVets Challenge.