Testimonials & Endorsements

P.O.W. is widely recognized for leading the way in innovative health and fitness programming for veterans and active military.

We offer thanks to these organizations and individuals for supporting our work.




The Patriot’s Initiative, a program of the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation




San Diego Business Associates




The National Association of Social Workers






“P.O.W. is the link between the unspoken struggle only the members of the armed forces can understand and the path to what we call peace. We get to fight together instead of alone.”

Angel Flores (Army Combat Veteran and student)



“P.O.W. was an integral part of taking me out one of the darkest periods of my life right after I got out of the Navy in 2010, and I want to thank all of you that have not only kept the program afloat, but have also made it flourish.”

– Tanner S.



“You rally to those in need. You would walk through fire for your friends and loved ones. I’m not a fighter but I do appreciate the effort you put forth EVERY DAY to ensure your brotherhood is transcending all barriers …continue to hold your head up.”

– Yolanda



“Initially, the application of MMA-style fitness was a bit off-putting to me. But, through my involvement with other veterans’ activities, I came to the realization that the circumstances that caused these veterans’ issues were themselves extremely “off-putting:”  The incredible violence of combat, multiple deployments, separation from friends and family, fear, profound loneliness, anger and, in some cases incredible health challenges. The more we learn about the reintegration process, the more we discover that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  P.O.W.  provides a safe, non-judgmental place for participants to burn off steam and focus on developing self-control and develop a road-map for their future. I see P.O.W. as another viable transitional and integrative program for veterans and a much-needed option in the spectrum of veterans’ care.”

– Stephen Swinton, Esq, Partner, Latham and Watkins LLP and P.O.W. Board Member



“You all mean so much to me! It is beyond an honor to me that I am able to help out and work with some of the BRAVEST and most fearsome warriors this incredible country has ever seen. I love you guys and gals very much. That [P.O.W. team] picture has me caught in one of the happiest moments of my entire life! With every single inch of my beating heart, thank you P.O.W.! Peace.”

-Aaron Peet



“As a woman I didn’t think I would like MMA-style training, but after working out with P.O.W. I quickly fell in love.  [Because I have experienced MST, or Military Sexual Trauma] I had apprehensions at first about fighting and wrestling with men.  I worked through my fear and what I started to realize was that I was not only getting an excellent workout, but I was gaining skills to defend myself.  P.O.W. has helped me work through some lingering MST fears that I was unable to work through in therapy.  The more I go, the stronger I become, and the better chance I have at protecting myself.  My advice to women who are on the fence, the best way to work through your fears is to face them.”

– Nicole Heffel, Esq.



“I can honestly say that I have never met a group of such great people who have the same passion as I do for this sport and deal with the same problems that I do. Before meeting up with Todd Vance and the P.O.W. team I didn’t have friends I could really relate to. Every time I come in to train with this outstanding group of individuals my day is always better. I no longer feel alone and I have a great group of friends that helped me out get ready for my fight. After training with Todd Vance and the POW Team I was more mentally ready than my first fight and physically ready than ever before.”

– Erik Cortez



“I’m from Las Vegas, Nevada. While on deployment as a U.S. Marine, I went on over 100 foot patrols, serving as point man sweeping for IED’s [improvised explosive device]. During that time, I found 10 weapons and ammunition caches, more than 25 IED’s, and much, much more. After returning from deployment, I started to notice that I was a very different person. I had panic attacks, violent outbursts and black outs. I was confronted by family to get help. I started to see a therapist three times a week and heard about the P.O.W. program, so I connected with Todd [P.O.W.’s founder] and haven’t left the program since. Best thing that could have happened to me.”

– Joel Graff



“Thank you for giving me purpose and self-motivation again in life. This is the first time in three years after my injuries in Iraq that my family is seeing a mental change for the good! The P.O.W. program is amazing for me and my family; the kids see a much happier father. I am proof the P.O.W. program works and I will continue to push through the physical pain to reach myself again. Keep up the good work Todd and P.O.W., and let’s keep focused!”

– Travis Henschel



“Travis loves every class. It really has given him something to look forward to! P.O.W. has totally given him the focus and outlet he needs to get better, mentally and physically. For that I can’t thank you enough! Feels like having him back for the first time, in over three years of trying so hard to find the right thing to make him happy and get out of his depression. His goal is to permanently get off all his meds and stop self-medicating (drinking). So far, he’s one week sober!”

– Travis’s wife



“When I came to P.O.W. I was depressed, overweight, in an abusive relationship, and on countless medications to combat my anxiety, insomnia, etc. Now I’m in combat shape again, fully employed, and in the most fulfilling relationship of my life. The P.O.W. program has literally turned my life around and helped me through hard times. No other veteran program has done for me what P.O.W. has, and all that is asked in return is that I train and help others. It’s hard to explain to people how a group of combat veterans learning MMA can somehow change your life, but I can directly attribute every positive change in my life to his program.”

– Shane Hanner



“Happy for you guys and for the things that you’ve helped me with on my own journey. Without even knowing it you have helped to inspire me on many occasions. Living the life.”

– Rosemary



“P.O.W, instead of war, is my new metaphor for life. I might get hit, and I might get knocked down, but I know which corner to look to for help. Someone will be there telling me to get up, and how to protect myself. Rounds will come and go, and win or lose, I have unwavering support and respect from my fellow P.O.W. teammates.”

– Anonymous veteran