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The number 22 has gained a lot of attention over the last several years. In 2012 the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published a suicide data report which analyzed death certificates from 21 states, from 1999-2011. The report calculated a percentage of suicides identified with veterans out of all suicides in death certificates from the 21 states during the project period, which turned out to be 22 percent. The report then applied that percentage against the number of suicides in the U.S. in a given year (approximately 38,000). This number was divided by the number of days in a year, leading to the number 22. Although this number moves up and down, just 1 veteran taking his/her life every day is one too many.
In 2015, Team Wendy had the pleasure of being introduced to the fine folks leading Mission22, a veteran led non-profit organization that is raising awareness and providing resources to veterans with an eye towards ending veteran suicide in America. Their work is not only commendable, but critical.
Awareness - There is no national monument for those that have fallen in the war against veteran suicide. Mission22 is seeking to change that. Working with community and national leaders, Mission22 will be moving a mobile monument in and out of various locations around the United States over the course of the next several years. The mobile monument will not only serve to call attention to veteran suicide, but it will also serve as a call to action – a call for Americans to get involved.
Provision of Resources – Mission22 seeks to connect Veteran’s with vetted organizations that are in a position to provide immediate support to Veteran’s in need. Examples of these organizations include (but are not limited to) the Dr. Elk Foundation, Chambers for Hope, USA Cares and Save a Warrior. Thanks to the caring of the American people, several support organizations have been stood up over the course of the last decade plus. Mission22 helps those in need navigate the multiple, supportive organizations that are available and ready to assist.
Team Wendy believes strongly in the good work that our friends at Mission22 have taken on. Please consider engaging with them to see how you may be able to get involved in helping out our wounded warriors. Whether this assistance comes in the form of a donation or personal time, every bit of engagement helps.
Mission22 can be contacted via www.mission22.com. Their website also serves to provide the contact information of several partner organizations who offer a broad range of support services.
Also, please post, share, or tweet and include #MISSION22 to help raise awareness and give hope to a veteran. Check out all those who already have shown their support through social media!