The Purple Heart Foundation had the opportunity to talk with Army veteran Nick Bare about his military experience, transition back to civilian life, and his recent commitment to helping the people and communities of Houston, TX that were devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Nick has made an incredible, and very successful, transition from a soldier to an entrepreneur. Currently, Nick is the owner of a sports supplement company, Bare Performance Nutrition, which is based just north of Austin, TX. Nick has been able to not only grow his business, but also develop an extremely large social media presence that supports him and what he is involved in.

As a Texas resident, Nick wanted to make a difference once the devastation of Hurricane Harvey set in. Inspired by his military experience and training he committed himself to doing a 150 Mile Ruck March to raise money for Houston. Through his vast social media presence and commitment to making a difference, Nick was able to raise around $9,000 for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Incredible.  

Can you provide us with a background on yourself?

I am originally from Palmyra, PA (a small town next to Hershey).  I went to college at the Indiana University of PA from 2009-2013 on an Army ROTC scholarship to study Nutrition.  When I was a junior in college I decided to start up Bare Performance Nutrition (sports supplement company) with a small loan.  I commissioned into the Army as an Infantry Officer in 2013, where I was first sent to Fort Benning, GA for Infantry Officer Basic Course, Ranger School and Airborne School.  My first duty assignment was Fort Hood, Texas where I was stationed from 2014-2017.  

During my time in the Army, I was an Infantry Platoon Leader and spent 9 months in South Korea on a training rotation just south of the DMZ.  After transitioning out of the military in May 2017, I went full time entrepreneur with my business, Bare Performance Nutrition.  Our distribution facility is now in Round Rock, TX (just North of Austin) where we ship directly to consumer, wholesale and through Amazon Prime.  A large part of our business is social media driven through my own personal YouTube channel.  The videos I upload are fitness, military, entrepreneur and lifestyle focused.

When did you join the military?

I officially went active duty in May 2013 after commissioning, however, I received my Army ROTC scholarship during my senior year of High School (2009).

Why did you join?

Many of my family members were active duty Army and I saw the experience they had while the war was very kinetic in the Middle East.  I hoped for a similar experience, which is why I selected Infantry.  I also had plans to serve my country and only ever expected to do my 4-year contract but enjoyed every minute of it!

Could you provide some details on your time in the service?

What branch did you serve in?

Army, Infantry, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood

What were your roles in the service?

Infantry Platoon Leader for 2 years and then Assistant S3 (Operations Officer) until I transitioned out of active duty.

Were you deployed during your service? If so, when?

9 month training rotation to South Korea from Feb 2016-Oct 2016.

What was the most defining moment of your military experience?

My graduation from the US Army Ranger School was my most defining moment.  I spent 4.5 months in a 61 day course due to 2 recycles and a 6-week hold over during the best ranger competition.  It was a tough school where I lost over 30 pounds but learned A LOT throughout the process.

What does being a veteran mean to you?

I am proud of my time in the military, the people I have met, the experience it had created and the mentorship I gained.  It taught me a lot about leadership, especially working with non-commissioned officers in the Infantry.  I am extremely proud to live in the United States, be an American and of course live in TEXAS.

What would you like the public to know about the veteran community that you don’t see portrayed in the news?

The enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers work harder than anyone else I have ever had the opportunity to learn from.  My team leaders, squad leaders and platoon sergeants held the standard to the highest and cared A LOT about their men.  It is something you don’t get to experience in the civilian sector.  These men aren’t working to make a million dollars, but because of a purpose they believe in.  We wouldn’t survive without the enlisted men and women of the United States.

While in the military you were required to complete ruck marches, and now as a veteran/civilian you recently completed a 150 Mile Ruck March to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Can you tell us a little about how:

You came up with that idea?

One of my employees came up with the idea to do a ruck march from Austin to Houston.  I originally planned to do 25 miles but he brought up the idea to do 150 miles.  I posted it on social media immediately to hold myself accountable to that task.

Your experience?

It was one of the best experiences of my life.  It was truly challenging and painful but I believe it brought many people together.  The feedback I received to amazing and the people of Texas are great.  

Your challenges?

The only big challenge throughout was the pain I felt in my feet.  The longest I had ever ruck marched before was 26 miles (and that was tough).  I was well worth the pain though!

What was the public response/support you received?

It was amazing! The people of Texas stopped me the entire way asking if I needed food, water, money and even a ride.  I was very thankful for the support, not just for the ruck march, but for the cause.  The people of Texas really came together after Hurricane Harvey.

Do you foresee yourself utilizing that type of fundraising for other causes?

I would love to do something similar in the future, but with more people involved to make for a greater cause and response.

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Nick’s story is both inspiring and unique; the difference he has made is unmeasurable. From serving this country, to helping people around the world achieve their fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle goals through his businesses, to fundraising through a Ruck March to help those whose lives were turned upside down by Hurricane Harvey, Nick continues to make a difference.

We, at the Purple Heart Foundation, will forever be grateful for Nick Bare, and all of the men and women who have served, and continuing serving and making a difference for this country. We are committed to honoring ALL of our heroes, and it is our goal to make the transition from the battlefield to the home front a smooth one for all of our men and women in uniform who defend our freedom Show your support for them by making a one-time or monthly pledge to make sure they continue to receive the support and benefits that they deserve.