22 WOD To End Veteran Suicide Unites A Nation
To See A Full Gallery of Event Images Click HERE
On Sunday, February 22, 2015 over 35 gyms and crossfit boxes participated in the first annual fundraiser and awareness event to spotlight that 22 Veterans are taking their lives each day – and that we need to come together as a community to change that number from 22 to ZERO.
38 gyms/boxes in The United States and Canada participated, covering 19 states and 1 province in Canada. Together we joined forces by completing 22 exercises, for 22 reps to complete the “22 WOD to End Veteran Suicide.” Several gyms held a 2 minute moment of silence during the event to honor and remember those Veterans who have lost their lives to suicide. The goal was to raise awareness as well as raise funds for the Operation Ward 57 Service Dog Assistance program. Each person was asked to consider donating $22 to the cause on 2/22. A total of $12,000 was raised during the event!
The event was the brainchild of Anthony Droz and Ray Liberto. Droz & Liberto, both U.S. Marine veterans, have seen first hand the after effects of war and have vowed to do everything in their power to share the message that no service member is alone, and that help & support is available for those struggling to overcome the burdens of battle and service. They recognize that in order to reduce the staggering statistic of 22 veterans a day taking their life, that we as a Nation, both military and civilians, need to rally together to take care of each other. We need to raise awareness and understanding of what Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) look like, and we need to provide the hope and the inspiration, to ensure that when someone is having a bad day, the veteran and their family will have the skills and strength to seek the appropriate help and care needed. One day, one veteran at a time.
In addition to the awareness the fundraiser brought across the country to veteran suicide, the event aimed to raise funds for Operation Ward 57’s new Service Dog Support program. Research, and personal experience have shown that trained service dogs for Veterans can dramatically aid and assist a Veteran suffering from physical and/or emotional wounds. Service animals are trained to provide a variety of tasks and skill sets -including calming the veteran, standing guard, assisting with medications and medication reminders, calling for help in a crisis, waking a veteran from a nightmare, etc. The goal of the Operation Ward 57 program is to provide financial and material support for veterans and their service dog in order to help restore their physical and emotional independence. Services include assisting with covering costs of vests, food, training, transportation, vet bills, etc. This program also partners with several non-governmental agencies to help find and place disabled veterans with service animals.
“As the workout came to a close I spoke about how the Veteran Community is broken and I feel it is going to take something more than individuals and single organizations with missions however great they may be to fix it. That no single Veteran owned business or non profit has the ability to reach every single Veteran and despite all of our great efforts as individuals were still losing 22 guys per day. Together as a community we were able to put an event on ALL OVER THE NATION at one time to raise awareness and at the same time raise funds for a new program geared towards uniting Veterans with Service dogs under Operation Ward 57. ” – Anthony Droz
Thank you to everyone who participated and shared in the mission of 22 to zero. We are extremely grateful for your support. We look forward to making this an annual international event. We will keep moving forward together until we can say that NO lives were lost!
Special Thanks and Links:
Rob & Dana Linn Bailey/Flag Nor Fail Warhouse Gym http://flagnorfail.com/
Freddie Reed Photography https://www.facebook.com/freddiereedphotography
Operation Enduring Warrior http://www.enduringwarrior.org/
Veterans Expeditionary Team www.facebook.com/thevet1
Flatline Fighters https://www.facebook.com/flatlinefighters
22 Until None https://www.facebook.com/22UntilNone