Safe and Sound: Push Up Challenge raises awareness of veteran suicide

Safe and Sound: Veteran Suicide Awareness Pushup Challenge strengthens community

Fitzgerald, Ga. (WALB) -A Fitzgerald High School JROTC program is going above and beyond to help raise awareness about veteran suicide in hopes of lowering the staggering numbers of people who take their lives.

“The Veterans Administration did a study and found that we were losing 22 veterans a day to suicide,” Chief Troy Hope said.

This number has triggered people across the state to do something.

Raising Awareness for Veteran Suicide
Raising Awareness for Veteran Suicide (Source: walb)

After a challenge from the band director Chief Troy Hope the Senior Army JROTC instructor at Fitzgerald high school joined in the 22 push-up challenge for veterans suicide awareness with his cadets.

“22 a day; we’re trying to save those lives were trying to let them know we’re here to support you... some veterans feel like they were just forgotten,” Chief Hope said.

“I find it very inspirational to have all of us come together as a group and as a community to do these push ups together as we support all of the veterans out there,” Cadet Captain Isiah Callaway said.

Chief Hope spent 23 years in the military and knows first hand how hard that transition can be.

CW3 Troy Hope
CW3 Troy Hope (Source: Ben Hill County Schools)

“For me, it’s something that’s very important from someone who has been in those shoes to give back and hopefully reach people that need to know the message that hey we remember and we have your back,” he said.

Even the town has gotten involved so they travel around and do push ups with others in the community, all with hopes of getting this message out that they are here for them.

SGT Major Kelsey Frazier helped organize this for them to make sure veterans don’t feel alone.

”It’s amazing because it’s not just the ROTC program it’s the whole community mixed in with us and we also have the high school involved so it shows that everyone is supporting everyone here,” Fraizer said.

It’s a 22 push-up for 22-day challenge, and even though their day 22 is on December 11th, they aren’t stopping there.

“It doesn’t stop at 22; they deal with these shadows 365 days a year with their change in their lifestyle, so we will do it as long as we can reach out and touch someone,” Chief Hope said.

You can get involved by posting your own push-up challenge videos to the GA 22 Push Up Facebook page.

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