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About Us

Neutralizing PTSD

Make A Vet Sweat (MAVS) is a nonprofit organization committed to serving Veterans who are combating the hidden wounds of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


We accomplish this objective by sponsoring our applicants at their local gyms for three month periods to sweat out the toxins of PTSD’s with like-minded people.

Our Story

The Why?

After 10 years in the Army and two tours in Iraq, Justin Bohannon, founder of Make a Vet Sweat, opened his eyes, disoriented and achy, to find himself in a crumpled government vehicle precipitously wrapped around a utility pole.  


Justin was brave enough to seek help, but the effects of the prescribed medications just weren’t working for him – altering his mood, dulling his senses, slowing his thoughts, etc.  Instead, Justin found that working out -- and working out with other people, some of whom had been in his shoes -- helped him physically and mentally combat the effects of his PTSD. In fact, research confirms that exercise for 90 days has an equivalent effect on the brain to anti-depressants (Taylor et al, Military Medicine, 173, 8:738, 2008).


So, in 2015, committed to helping others in a similar position, Justin DID something really meaningful!  With zero non-profit experience and while working through challenges of his own, he started Make a Vet Sweat, a 501(c)(3) that sponsors three-month gym memberships for veterans and/or their spouses, regardless of age, to help them establish healthy habits of using fitness to combat the effects of PTSD.  


Our Impact

MAVS is 100% volunteer run and 100% donation based.  We execute several major fundraising events each year and a number of smaller outreach events.  Interest from vets and/or their spouses in our sponsorships has been robust – over 530 people applied to MAVS for sponsorship in 2019.  To date, we have sponsored memberships for over 515 veterans and/or their spouses and over 175 in 2019 alone!


By pairing veterans with gyms of interest, negotiating membership discounts to most efficiently manage donated funds and sponsoring three-month memberships free to veterans and/or their spouses, we know that the combination of fitness, community and financial relief is positively impacting those we sponsor. And we know we are changing veterans lives because they tell us so!

"The workouts have been a great boost for me mentally and physically."

6-year Army Veteran

"Thank you all so much for helping me to take back my own life again."

9-year Army Veteran

"You can’t imagine the impact that this sponsorship has done to my overall health."

21-year Army Veteran

"I can't tell you how much of an impact MAVS has had on me, there are not enough words…my future looks brighter than ever. Thank you so much for helping me get my life back on track! "

30-year Army Veteran


Inspired by our story?  Want to support our mission in someway?

Check out some options to find what is right for you:

Have something else in mind? Drop us a line to let us know.

Meet Our Exec Team


Justin Bohannon

Founder & Executive Director

Army Veteran


Mistin Meyer

Chief Financial Officer

Board Member


Melanie Handley

Social Media Manager

Meet Our BoarD


Navy Veteran

Member, Past President

Membership Volunteer





Our Partners

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