GALAX, Va. – A community in Southwest Virginia is coming together to honor a fallen hero.
Curtis Bartlett was a member of the U.S. Army and a Carroll County sheriff’s deputy before being killed in the line of duty in 2017.
Doctors in the Galax community donated a 24,000 square-foot facility to house the Curtis Bartlett Fitness Center, which had its grand opening on Tuesday, February 1.
Sam Bartlett, Curtis’ father, is pleased with how everything turned out.
Back in 2019, after years of fundraising, Curtis Bartlett Fitness opened in a different facility. Now, with this donated facility, the family’s goal of honoring Curtis’ legacy can fully be realized.
“We’re just so excited to be able to have this, our vision is to create a fitness community that honors veterans and first responders,” said Bartlett.
Sam described his late son as a fitness enthusiast who loved to push people beyond their limits in the gym.
“Curtis was a larger-than-life figure,” explained Bartlett. “We have chosen to take that grief and turn it into positive action.”
Bartlett said the new facility was appraised for $2.5 million and they received a bank loan for $1.5 million for renovations.
“This is sort of an indirect way to improve health for Galax citizens by having them work out,” said Dr. Glen Lanstinger, one of the doctors who donated the facility.
Bartlett said, because of Curtis’ service, the gym is free for veterans and first responders.
“It’s a great resource to come over get in shape and relieve some stress,” said Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughn.
Bartlett is happy to continue his son’s legacy and help people get healthy.
“I think if Curtis were to walk in today and to see all of this, I think his grin, you know was from ear to ear, but I think that grin would be bigger and better,” said Bartlett.
In addition to helping people maintain a healthy fitness life, Bartlett plans to open Legacy House for veterans who are experiencing homelessness.
Watch our full conversation with Sam Bartlett below: