INDIANAPOLIS — “It’s been 50 years since I’ve been in the uniform, and this is the best thing that has happened to me since I came home," said 73-year-old Vietnam veteran Richard Scott, who attends Punch for Veterans classes.
It's boxing instruction for those who served by those who served.
“I was a United States Marine for 14 years," said Punch for Veterans founder Jeffrey Tabb. "It’s not about trying to get you ready for a fight — it’s to get you ready for the fight for you to be better in life.”
It doesn’t matter where or when you served. These free boxing classes are open to any disabled veteran.
"We’re all brothers under that same flag, took the same oath," Scott said, who joined the Marines in 1965. “I was wounded in 1968. I was shot in the leg, shot in the back.”
Punch for Veterans gives participants a chance to talk about their time in the service and be around fellow vets, while blowing off some steam.
“Gets the blood flowing," Scott said. "In my case, [it] keeps me young, realizing that you don’t really have as many limitations with your body as you may think.”
“When I do my training, I’m not trying to critique you every five seconds," Tabb said. "I’m here to just say, this is basic boxing. Let’s enjoy it, let’s have fun, but at the same time, exert that stress you have in your life, so we get after it.”
In some cases, Punch for Veterans has proven to be life-changing.
“It doesn’t get any better than this for me," Scott said. "It makes me want to get up in the morning. It makes me look forward to that next session because what I take away from it is feeling good about me. That 20-year-old still lurks in this old man’s heart.”
Punch for Veterans started last August and has about 20 members currently. It runs in collaboration with the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana. Click here to sign up for classes.
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