Navy Vet Performing Pull-Ups for 11 Hours to Raise Money for Service Members

by Matthew Memrick

One Massachusetts veteran’s fundraiser for service members is all about an eleven-hour pull-ups session, combining fitness with patriotism.

While Veterans Day is all about parades and social media moments, John Brunelli’s celebrating Veterans Day with a massive pull-up display. The 53-year-old went 11 hours and 11 minutes with 1,446 pull-ups, according to WPRI.

After midnight, the self-professed “fitness addict” and firefighter/paramedic started to raise money for Homes for Our Troops. He completed his feat at his The Answer is Fitness Gym. 

The Attleboro resident raised more than $3,000 in the fundraiser. Want to help? Click on this link.

By the way, what’s with the number 11? Brunelli’s honoring the original designation of Armistice Day of World War I when the guns fell silent on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

Veterans Day Fundraising Star

The Navy veteran initially had a $1,111 goal to go with the 11-hour, 11-minute fundraising session.

Last month, he told the Attleboro Sun Chronicle newspaper that he planned to do “like to do 2,021 (chin chin-ups) was unsure if he’d make that mark.

He told ABC 6 that he did the math and knew that his marathon session would bring him to 11:11 a.m.

“Whatever I do for total pull-ups is what I do,” Brunelli said. “I have such respect for people who have served overseas and in combat and obviously the people who have made the ultimate sacrifice.” 

He also said many forget about the families too and what they go through. Brunelli said they also sacrifice for their country.

Last year, the man did a similar fundraiser. According to the newspaper, he ran 4 miles every four hours for 48 hours to raise money for the same charity. 

The 51-year-old self-described fitness addict ran a 4-mile route near his home, raising $1,900 for the organization. 

In another past fundraiser for the group, he did the “Stairs for Our Troops” at the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, with a 25-pound vest.

More Details on Organization  

The charity touched Brunelli’s heart in their actions. He wanted to promote their work as well on the national holiday.

The veteran said he thinks Homes For Our Troops is a great organization and was “privileged to be able to do this for them.”

The Taunton, Mass.-organization builds homes where the veteran chooses to live and continues its relationship with the service members after home delivery to assist them with rebuilding their lives.

The veteran trained hard for this year’s fundraiser. According to the newspaper, six months of work went into Thursday’s event. He started with 800 pull-ups during four-hour stretches. He also talked about running a 24-hour race before Veterans Day. 

By running that, he told the newspaper, he’d have less weight to pull up.