Sandhills YMCA offers free memberships to Wounded Warriors - WNCN: News, Weather

Sandhills YMCA offers free memberships to Wounded Warriors

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

The YMCA of the Sandhills has announced it is giving away free memberships to anyone in the Fayetteville area who is registered with the local Wounded Warriors Project.

According to Kathy Foxen, the non-profit organization's Membership Services Director, there are more than 300 registered Wounded Warriors in Cumberland County.

The idea to extend free memberships came over the summer when a grant from the Wounded Warrior Project paid for 20 local veterans with war injuries to join the YMCA for free. The grant also paid for the Wounded Warriors to get personal training and for their families to join also.

"It's just our way of giving back what we can in a capacity that we're able," Foxen said about expanding the membership offer.

Brent Goad is one of the Wounded Warriors who received a free membership through the initial grant in July. After being hurt in three explosions in Afghanistan in 2005, he has lingering problems with his neck, back, shoulders and arms – particularly on his right side.

"When I came back from Iraq I didn't care – my appearance, my body, I just kind of let all that go. I didn't matter to me," Goad explained. "After overcoming the physical and emotional issues I was facing, now I can get back up off the couch. Now I can get back into the gym and take a little self pride. I think if you feel good sometimes it helps you overcome some of your issues because life's worth living."

The free memberships will allow the Wounded Warriors to use all three of the Sandhills YMCA branches in Fayetteville and Hope Mills.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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