Veterans train at a free TRX class while providing a support system for each other


NEW YORK MILLS, N.Y. (WKTV) - Veterans participated in a TRX suspension class Thursday night, learning about endurance and strength training along with networking, contributing to a veteran support system and making new friends.

The people who came out for the class are  part of Sitrin Health Cares Military- Civilian Coalition (MCC.) The organization teamed up with Matt Vasco, owner of Empowerment2 Studio in New York Mills and a TRX Instructor. They decided, because TRX is a military base program, it would be a good physical activity for local vets to participate in.

James Contessa, originally from New York City but who now resides in Clinton attended the class. He is a former Army veteran who served in Iraq and Korea. He attends these events in hope of becoming involved in the community and meeting new friends. James said MCC and the group meetings are important for military vets to know they are not alone.

"The hard part is letting go. Letting go of the community that you get in the army, because you're  in the same situation and when you go into the civilian population your in a whole different ball game."

After returning from the war, Contessa decided to enroll at Utica College for occupational therapy. He hopes to one day go back to the army and help veterans in need, " I am an occupational therapy student so it helps seeing from both ends... being there and seeing experiences and knowing what it's like but then going through the therapy process and learning about it and how the process of community integration helps in the healing process," Contessa said.

Vasco worked with each individual vet, helping them  keep their form correct. Vasco, a former vet, said giving his class is the least he could do, " I can only imagine that its got to be a difficult thing to transition from what they lived saw and breathed for their time deployed, then back to civilian sector... I mean I know even being a non- war veteran it was a difficult transition back to civil sector so I cant imagine what it must be like for these guys and gals."

Vasco said he will contribute his time to local veterans in the future.

Sitrin's MCC is designed to promote camaraderie, advocacy and give vets both physical and educational opportunities. They meet once a month at various locations around the community.


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