Why the Y for my family?
“Upon checking aboard my command in Columbus, one of the first programs that was discussed with me was the DoD Military Outreach Initiative to provide YMCA access to military personnel assigned to remote duty stations away from our major concentration areas. This program helps to close a significant gap for both myself as the military member and my family who would normally have access to base gyms and fitness classes which are provided for by the Morale, Welfare, Recreation (MWR) organization.
When my family came to visit the Grove City YMCA after they arrived in the area, the staff introduced us immediately to Lori Sparks, who was very familiar and supportive of the partnership between the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) and the YMCA in support of the outreach program. Lori's outgoing and extremely personable demeanor made us feel very welcome and she became one of our first new friends; just one of many that have been made through the YMCA in Grove City. Over the last 4 years the Grove City YMCA has been a routine part of my family's monthly activities. We have continuously participated in swimming lessons for all of our children, my spouse has participated in numerous classes where she has made most of her friends even before we settled on a church in the area and I have used the facilities to build upon my normal Physical Training requirements regardless of the weather/season conditions that might normally limit continued PT development.
Another unique element of the Grove City YMCA that has been beneficial is The Ohio State University Sports Medicine Rehabilitation Clinic. After I injured my knee I choose to complete my follow on care for getting certified as fit for full duty at our YMCA. The staff of the Y was as much a part of the follow care as the actual treatment and workout regimen being executed by my physical therapist. By this point almost all of the management knew my family and I so when I was coming in for treatment they would take the time to talk with me and see how I was doing before and after my appointments and that caring element was just as much a part of my treatment.
Now this isn't to say the relationship is a one way street. My command, Navy Operational Support Center Columbus Ohio, and some of our Reserve Units have performed volunteer outreach service with the YMCA of Ohio. At the Grove City YMCA we have held our Campaign Drug Free where our staff comes and speaks to the youth about the importance of not using illicit substances. During the Bi-annual Physical Readiness Test, we partner with the YMCA to use the pool for our Sailors who elect to perform the 500 Yard Swim for the cardio test. With our Command Fitness Leaders (CFL) in uniform to oversee the sailors electing the swim we project our presence in the community and this gives YMCA members present that day an opportunity to interact with us however they like. We never know how an interaction with the community will benefit an individual whether it is a connection another veteran makes and receives a confidence boost that day, a young man or woman who we may inspire to better life choices or just answering question about what it's like to serve by providing another perspective that comes from someone other than a recruiter or family member.”
LT Nahum C. Cook
NOSC Columbus, OH
To learn more about the Armed Services YMCA, visit ASYMCA Website. The Armed Services YMCA has partnered with YMCAs to offer service members and families who qualify, free access to fitness centers. The Military Outreach Initiative gives service members and military families extra support and access to vital resources that promote youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. It’s another way of giving back to those who dedicate themselves to serving our country.