I was challenged to post a video of myself doing twenty-two push-ups a day for twenty-two days by my friend, Matt Coombs, on Facebook. The “22Kill Challenge” is intended to bring awareness to the estimated twenty-two veterans every day who take their own lives. As somebody who has struggled with suicidism since I was fifteen years old, I know how hard it can be to carry this burden on your own. I believe #22Kill's plan to bring awareness to this veteran plight is a noble one.
I never served in the military, but my brother, Ryan, did. The day he finished infantry training at Camp Pendleton, a drunk driver plowed into the van he and 10 other marines were in, ending their liberty, and for some, their service. My brother died the next day, so I accept this challenge to honor his memory and to help raise awareness for suicidal vets.
To you veterans who served, you served with honor, and we do not forget you. Don't carry this burden alone. Reach out and let people help you. If you don't have family or friends who you can rely on, try Veterans Crisis Support 1–800–273–8255. Many times, suicidism is something you can ride through, like a hard campaign with heavy shelling. You can do this.
For today, I challenge my friend, Nathan. He doesn't bother with social media, so I'll make sure he sees this video.
You can read of other ways to support suicidal loved ones in my book, Saying "No!" to Suicide. Below you'll find the rest of the week. Each video has a short message at the end. Thanks for your support!