The new Warrior Fitness Park was dedicated at the Temple VA in Texas on Feb. 19 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

The idea for the park began in 2017 with Toby Johnson, a kinesiology therapist at the Temple VA, and Reggie Hardy, the chief of voluntary services for the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. The park was made possible through donations of goods, time and funds from the community.

The Warrior Fitness Park is the first of its kind in the Department of Veterans Affairs, said Andrew Garcia, interim director of Temple VA.

Picture of people speaking at the ribbon cutting event.Reginald Cooper of Houston has been a resident of the Veterans Affairs domiciliary since the middle of January and has been using the exercise equipment in the Warrior Fitness Park for a while.

Cooper, 65, admits he’s become something of an exercise fanatic.

“It helps me, it helps my back,” he said. “It makes me stronger and I’m walking better, I am looking better and I’m feeling better.

Cooper said he was amazed when he arrived and saw the fitness park.

“When I was here in 2007, it was just grass and cigarettes.” Replacing a smoking area with exercise equipment is a goal to improve the lives of Veterans.

The Warrior Fitness Park is open to all Veterans in the community and VA staff.

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