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New gym for veterans set to open in Billings

Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-01 18:39:08-05

An idea that started three years ago will soon start helping those serving and who have served in the military.

The Adaptive Performance Center (APC) held an open house Sunday afternoon.

The center will provide a special gym for veterans.

"We’re a non-profit organization," said Karen Pearson, APC co-founder. "We’re a fitness facility for disabled veterans and military personnel. Our mission statement is Making what seems impossible possible, ending the Veteran suicide rate.”

Pearson and Mitch Crouse co-founded APC.

“Mitch and I have volunteered with a National Guard unit for about four years," Pearson said "We’ve had six people commit suicide. That is one National Guard unit and six have committed suicide. That’s not ok.”

They say that that fitness helps deal with mental challenges and the center is more than a place to work out.

“A vet can come in, meet with other vets and talk about their problems," Crouse said. "They don’t need to come in and lift here. They can just sit in the lounge, have a cup of coffee and if they’re having some problems, talk about it.”

"For a lot of people, there’s stigma behind always having to go to the doctor, always having to go to this appointment over here," Pearson said. "They get to come here to a place that’s their community and have their experiences here."

“We bring the doctors and the therapists here for them," Crouse said.

Both have seen the importance of exercise.

"I'm a mental health therapist, but I also am a personal trainer," Pearson said. "And I started watching people get better after two or three personal training sessions much faster than when they spent 10 years in my office and so that was the catalyst for me.”

“I was in a car accident," Crouse said. "Had a brain trauma. Found a gym, started working out. Kind of made me feel better. It helped me, so it’s got to help them.”

APC will be open to active and retired military personnel.

The center is at 1420 Broadwater and scheduled to open Monday morning.