EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)-Local gym owners of Sun City Athletic Club in West El Paso teamed up with an Army veteran who is a member at their gym to give back to active duty soldiers who can’t make it home for the holiday.
“I’ve had an experience where I’m in Afghanistan for Christmas or Thanksgiving for New Year’s for birthdays and it’s not a nice experience,” Jacob Puryear, an Army veteran said.
Married couple and co-owners of Sun City Athletic Club, Lizzie and Shane Martinez hopped on board with Puryear’s idea to set something up for about 85 military members who are staying at a hotel up the street from the gym while on rotation from Fort Polk.
“They started walking down to the gym and we gave them a military discount for $9.99 a month no contract so they can get their workouts done so and they started building a community within our community,” Lizzie Martinez said.
Through donations from community and other gym members, the gym was able to serve a homecooked meal to those who serve our country.
“In a week we got 15 turkeys donated, and cooked, 15 pies, 20 dozens of tamales,” Shane Martinez said.
The gym owners said they want to strengthen the relationship with the El Paso community and inspire others to give back as well.
“We’ve always tried to give back and this is just a great way that the gym got together and we’re doing this to kind of motivate people,” Shane Martinez said.