Here on this day of veteran’s I’m going to plug an organization fighting their leading cause of death: suicide. In fact, 22 veterans die by suicide every day on average. After this shocking statistic came out from a VA study in 2012, the social media movement #22KILL was born. You may have seen videos on your social-media feed of someone doing the 22-push-up challenge and wondered why they were showing off their chest and triceps strength. Maybe you knew they were raising awareness that 22 veterans on average commit suicide every day and didn’t know what else you could do except bust out some push-ups yourself. Well, I’m here to tell you there are organizations combating veteran suicide you can donate to. My personal choice is 22KILL.
22KILL became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization shortly after the social-media movement began, and its mission is to raise awareness of and combat this epidemic. 22KILL provides a network of support for veterans in need of mental health treatment or reintegration into a society where they often feel they lack purpose. The goal is one day “22” will become “0”. Unfortunately, this can’t be achieved simply by enough people doing push-ups on Facebook. Like any nonprofit they require support in the form of volunteers or dollars.
If you’re like me and don’t have a lot of free time to donate, you can always donate cold hard cash or buy from their online shop. My purchase of choice is the Honor Ring. It is black and worn on your index finger with a plain or engraved external surface. Regardless of the design, once you wear one you are immediately recognizable as a member of the 22Kill Tribe. Furthermore, it is a way to introduce people to the topic. People will inevitably ask why you’re wearing a ring on your index finger allowing you to make them aware of the fact on average 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Maybe they’ll want to join the tribe and make their own donation.
I encourage everyone volunteer or donate to an organization for veterans be it 22KILL, Mission 22, or any organization listed in the VA directory. Our servicemen and women volunteered to fight for freedom overseas; let’s help them win the fight at home.