22 pushups for 22 veteran suicides each day
The image of the World Trade Center towers crumbling from a terrorist attack is what encouraged Chase Kelley to join the Marines in 2002, during the beginning of the war in Iraq. He returned home four years later.
"The transition between the military and civilian life can be challenging," says Kelley.
Junior Vice Commander Karle Johnson with the Kentucky Veterans of Foreign Wars says every day 22 of our veterans commit suicide.
"They have been through traumatic things that you as a civilian populous do not know what they’ve been through and how terrible the things they’ve seen," says Johnson.
Kelley has accepted a challenge to help spread awareness about the deadly trend.
Every day for 22 days straight, Kelley films himself doing 22 pushups and posts the video to social media, each time tagging a new person to take the challenge.
"It’s heartbreaking that we have this problem, but it can end," says Kelley. "We can get the number to zero with awareness and spreading the word."
Kelley has 12 more days to go until he completes the 22 day challenge, and even then, he says, he’s not going to give up until the number of veteran suicides is at zero.
Kelley says the best way you can help is to contact your local and state lawmakers, and ask them to fund more mental health programs for veterans.
If you are worried about yourself or a family member, contact the Veterans Affairs Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. If it’s an emergency, dial 911.