COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho—A gym in Coeur d’Alene is going beyond with what it has to offer, and it’s not just with the equipment.

Foundation Fitness in Coeur d’Alene offers free memberships to veterans.

Foundation Fitness opened in 2013 as a for profit business, but then transformed into a nonprofit organization to benefit the veteran community.

Dale Stamper said he feels right at home at Foundation Fitness because he has always loved exercise.

“My favorite memory in the army. I guess a lot of it would have to revolve around when I was in basic whenever we were doing the PT, the physical training stuff. Because I’ve always been an athletic guy. And so it was kind of my area. It was something I could do, and I could do well,” said Stamper.

Members of Foundation Fitness can recognize Stamper by his style: he wears his sunglasses inside.

Stamper said he has a good sense of humor about wearing his sunglasses inside.

Stamper was in the Ninth Infantry division in and one day when they were going into an area he encountered a land mine, and as a result of injuries he lost his sight, according to Stamper.

The commitment at Foundation Fitness comes from the top. CEO Shawn Burke is himself a veteran and said he started offering free membership to veterans after he saw how much of a need there was in the community.

“Veterans had no programs to be physically fit. And me, myself, being a veteran, being physically fit is what I do in order to deal with post traumatic (stress disorder) that I had dealt with when I was in panama,” said Burke.

Burke said the foundation was able to offer the free services because of generous donations.
The gym recently received a $50,000 anti-gravity treadmill from the Lynne Ruffin-Smith Charitable foundation. The treadmill allows clients of all ages to run without pain by taking pressure of their joints.

Foundation Fitness is open to the public.