Ryan Dostie & the Veterans Gala

One of the many things that makes our Crossfit community so special is how diverse our member base is. CFNH athletes all have very different stories; some of which we’re completely unaware of. We come together to work hard, kick some butt, and support our fellow athletes during the grueling workouts, but we don’t always break past these limited interactions.

You might have had the pleasure of working out next to Ryan Dostie. She’s a long-time member and CFNH superstar, who comes in to work hard and give each workout everything she’s got. However, what you might not know is that the motivation behind her workouts are rooted in painful experiences from her past. Ryan suffers from MST (Military Sexual Trauma) and combat PTSD from her time spent as an Army Specialist from 2003 to 2008. Ryan spent 15 months in Iraq, but her trauma began before she even left.

Crossfit provides her with an outlet for physical and mental recovery, as well as a safe space for her to come work through the emotions on a bad day or to help cope with an episode she’s experiencing. She won’t often share this with anyone; instead, she shows up for an afternoon WOD, keeps her head down and lifts some heavy weight.

Ryan’s husband, Mark, has played a huge role as her support system since her diagnosis. Since Ryan is unable to work, Mark has shouldered much of the financial burden, especially since their daughter was born. He is a former Marine, currently working as a New Haven high school teacher, an AMR EMT and a volunteer fire fighter. We thank Ryan and Mark for their service, and for being strong, hardworking and truly inspirational members of our community.

There’s a special event coming up on June 2nd, which has brought all of this to light. The Heart 9/11 organization chose Ryan and her family to give a home renovation grant to. The money is being raised with the help of The Chaz and AJ Show of WPLR. All of the funds raised at the Veterans Gala will go towards Ryan and her family, to help fix their home that needs heat, a new roof and backyard imrpovements. This is something we’d like for our CFNH community to get behind, because that’s what we do: we show up for each other and we support each other even once the WOD is over.

Tickets are $25 ($20 for Veterans). Not only will you be supporting Ryan and her family, but the night will feature a buffet dinner and stand-up comics PJ Walsh and Dave Reilly. Tickets can be purchased here 

We encourage you to listen to Ryan’s interview on WPLR (click here to listen). She goes into a bit more detail about her time in the military, as well as the upcoming event.


Event details:

The Chaz & AJ Budweiser Veterans Gala

Friday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m.

Fantasia Wedding & Banquet Facility in North Haven, CT



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