Current Events

Title:Combat Veterans, professional athletes join forces to support one another

Author:VA Careers

Date:September 2023

Source:U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs © 2023, Reprinted with permission

Volume:Volume 3 Issue 203

Merging Vets and Players (MVP) was created in 2015 by Jay Glazer, a Fox Sports analyst, and Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret and NFL alumni, to address the similar challenges that combat Veterans and former professional athletes face when the uniform comes off.

As a weekly peer support program, MVP creates a new team for these men and women and works to help them find new purpose, meaning and identity as they face the challenges head-on together rather than alone. By staying connected beyond the weekly sessions through various events, communication and trusted resources, members experience an ecosystem of support.

MVP conducts multiple in-person chapters nationwide, and a virtual chapter, which allows Veterans to join from even the most remote areas. Veterans must meet eligibility requirements and membership is free. MVP chapter locations and time information are available here.

Each chapter operates weekly at a local privately owned fitness facility, and members can expect these sessions to run for two hours. The first hour consists of team-based workouts with individual drills that create connection, communication and trust. During the second hour, members sit in "The Huddle", a circle to create a peer group of like-minded individuals who have shared life experiences. Every Huddle is facilitated by a peer-certified staff member of MVP who are also members of the program.

In addition to weekly peer-led sessions for members, MVP hosts community workouts and events that are open and inclusive of families, friends and community members. This inclusivity broadens our reach to those who can benefit from our model and support. We have seen the impactful results from the connections and work we do to build stronger communities. Our community contributions deepen the level of engagement and understanding of how Veterans continue to lead with purpose and serve in a new capacity.

MVP's weekly programming and membership is available at no cost to Veterans who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations (service in a war or campaign expedition in hostile waters and or on foreign soil that rated Hostile Fire Pay or Imminent Danger Pay). Veterans can find more information on eligibility requirements and sign up for membership here. Upon registration, Veterans will receive an email confirmation from their local chapter program manager to provide further direction on attending an MVP session and establishing connection and community.

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