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A few weeks after Chris Kyle’s best-selling autobiography American Sniper hit the book stores, he was notified that his new non-profit to help wounded veterans had been approved by the IRS. Shortly thereafter, Kyle appeared on the television series, Sons of Guns and helped build a custom piston-driven HK carbine that was later sold as a fundraiser for nearly $25,000 to help fund his new foundation, FITCO Cares. Kyle continued to support and help raise money for FITCO Cares.
February 2, 2013, Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield were gunned down while extending a hand of kindness to a troubled Marine, now accused in their deaths.

FITCO Carries On

As of July 2012, the Department of Defense reported that nearly 50,000 U.S. service men and women have been injured in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn. These men and women suffer from a wide range of injuries that can make it difficult, uncomfortable or even impossible to get to a therapy center or gym to exercise in a manner that allows and encourages healing—physical and mental healing. FITCO Cares’ goal is to provide the necessary equipment and training to allow these individuals to pursue their recovery from the privacy of their own home.

“The opportunity to exercise is such an important part of a healthy, well balanced life but it can sometimes be intimidating to walk in to a gym if veterans feel like they don’t quite measure up to everyone else there,” FITCO Cares President Travis Cox said. “Whether real or imagined, we feel the looks from others—maybe we feel a little less fit or we don’t have the ‘right’ workout clothes. Now, imagine how self-conscious you might feel as a wounded veteran, walking in to a gym with a prosthetic limb, with significant burns over a portion of your body, or the anxiety of being around large groups of people brought on by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These are the people the FITCO Cares ‘Heroes Project’ was created to serve.”

For injured service members, there are numerous factors that complicate their ability to regularly go to physical therapy or the gym. Often there are physical limitations that make the process difficult. For others, the psychological side can be challenging. Burn victims who aren’t ready to deal with the unwanted attention at the gym need help, or amputees unsure of how to properly exercise with their new challenges need an alternative. The FITCO Cares Heroes Project in-home gyms provide easy access and a more private environment to work out and work through some of these uncertainties.

“We are grateful to all of our sponsors who support the FITCO Cares Foundation Heroes Project,” Cox added. “Through the generosity of our corporate and professional sponsors, financial and in-kind assistance in conjunction with donations received from supporters, we are able to help meet the needs of many, deserving Wounded Warriors, and their families.”

The FITCO Cares Foundation is recognized as a 501(c)3 by the IRS, so all donations are tax deductible. Contact them at: FITCO Cares Foundation Heroes Project, 2101 Midway Road, Suite 240, Carrollton, TX 75006, or call 888-516-2086. Learn more at FITCOcares.org.

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