The Stay Safe Foundation was founded in 2012 by Eric and Amanda Basek, two people passionate about helping veterans and law enforcement officers combat the struggles they experience in their daily lives and careers. But the Foundation wasn't just born out of thin air. Continue reading to learn more about the Stay Safe Foundation's origin story...
In 2008, our Executive Director Amanda started working with another non-profit organization supporting veterans. She did a lot of work at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and Eric regularly volunteered there to help her plan and execute huge parties and dinners with a team of 2,000+ volunteers. During this time, and up until 2011, amputees were coming into Walter Reed daily.
While they were working together, they met two inspirational people that helped shape their future. Army veteran and Crossfit coach, Brendan Ferrera (pictured second from the left), and Army veteran, Paralympic bobsledder, and Walter Reed Crossfit Coach Jason Sturm (pictured on the right).
Eric, Amanda, Brendan, and Jason joined together to organize a team of disabled veteran athletes to compete in the then-popular Civilian Military Combine Obstacle Races. These disabled athlete teams would help to provide hope to the newly injured veterans. These teams formed the Veterans "Taking Up Fitness" Team - the Veterans TUF Team!
Later, when Amanda was laid off from the non-profit that she was working with after nearly a decade, the four-some realized that they were doing too much good with the veterans they were working with. And hence, the Stay Safe Foundation was born. At the time, Eric was a police officer, and it was an easy addition to bring in support for the LEOs that were experiencing many of the same struggles as the veterans.

Through the Foundation's charity work, Eric was given the opportunity to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger! He's since been bringing veterans and police officers to the Arnold Sports Festival to speak on the benefits of fitness for positive mental health.

Now, through peer mentoring, fitness events, speaking engagements, and their book Lessons in Cadence, the Stay Safe Foundation continues to encourage LEOs and vets to seek out and use physical fitness as their strongest recovery tool for PTSD.