Historic New York boxing gym opens its doors to Veterans


[MUSIC] WILLIAMS: It’s an escape. Escape from problems
maybe that affect me outside of the boxing gym. CAMILO: When I box, I feel like
I’m flowing. Like I soul leaves my body when I’m punching and I’m just looking
from above like, ‘okay you’re throwing the punch right.’ KRAEMER: You want something to keep
you going; you want your reflexes to demand your attention. I think that’s why
a lot of Veterans in general love different kinds of adrenaline therapy —
because it demands you to be in the now. [MUSIC] WILLIAMS: I’m sure a lot of vets get out they got you know a lot of stuff they go through stuff they might not want to talk about. GLASBERG: Many people have a connection to
the raw instincts of boxing and learning those
trainings you get a feeling of wellness; feeling like you’re able to move your
hands and move your body in a productive way. [MUSIC] POWELL: Coming back into civilian life — the
transition, and trying to mesh in. sometimes it gets stressful. These combat
sports that the VA offers are a definite release. [MUSIC] CAMILO: I used to box in the
Army, and once I got out, I was like, depressed and, you know, I didn’t really
have that much friends, you know… And I saw this flyer, and I saw boxing. I said, ‘I’m interested.’ [MUSIC] GLASBERG: There is a level of physicality
in training for any military service; there’s a level of physicality in boxing training. So I think those two
really come together, and hit home for our Veterans. [MUSIC] MURRAY: If I chase them around the ring for
20 minutes, their hearts pumping, good cardiovascular work… after a couple of
weeks they really start getting in better shape. KRAEMER: For any Veteran to want to
come box over here, all you have to do is go to the VA — just get a script saying
that you’re good and you’re healthy enough to participate, and box. [MUSIC] GLASBERG: It’s called an
adaptive sports medical clearance, and once they have that clearance, that
clearance lasts for a full year, and they’re ready to get into the program. WILLIAMS: I can come here, I can unleash on
the bag for a couple hours, then I can go home to my family. KRAEMER: I came in: frustrated; annoyed; confused;
I couldn’t concentrate, or I just felt scatterbrained… I usually always walk out the same. You leave with ultimate contentedness. CAMILO: When I walked in here, they made me feel at home. No one judged me. I felt like I was back in the unit again. KRAEMER: That camaraderie, that’s what really
makes it. You know, for me, that’s what really makes
it.

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