What Does the Number 22 Mean?

Our veterans sacrifice everything for our country. They leave the comfort of home, the safety of their families and friends, and spend their lives trying to make the world a better place for us, our children, and our children’s children. Many make the ultimate sacrifice trying to keep the peace.

We’re glad when our brave men and women make it back home but rarely do we stop to think of the unimaginable trauma they have been through overseas – especially when they rarely ask for attention or thanks.

Ask Gordan Wheeler, ex- U.S. Airforce who says, that when people come and say, “Thank you for your service”, he feels flabbergasted and smiles in return. He continues modestly saying, “It makes me happy, that people are realizing what we did and thanking us for what we do”.

Jerry Rodgers, formerly U.S. Navy, and Ruger Housley, U.S. Marines, echo his sentiments saying, “We’re just doing a job. It’s just a job”. Ricky Matias of the U.S Marines is slightly more eloquent stating that thanks isn’t needed, “I did it because I wanted to protect the United States.” Beau Walker of the U.S. Army agrees saying that he never knows how to react when people thank him, it’s not something he expects.

What all these brave men and women are united on is that there is a way everyone can help and show their gratitude toward our vets. Erica Walker, U.S. Army says, “I feel that I would like them to thank me for my service by showing me rather than telling me”. Chuck Maxwell, U.S. Army, says, people need to “volunteer! That’s what that’s what people really need to do.”

The Number 22

We asked some vets what the number 22 means to them. Here is what they had to say,

Ron Vasquez, Active US Navy, says, “The number 22 is not a good number for me.”

Erica Walker explains, “22 is the number that came out several years back that said the VA statistics were that an average of 22 veterans a day were committing suicide. I don’t think it’s enough to just bring awareness but actually do something about it.” She continues, “We need to do something to stop it. 22 is too many. We need to work at getting that number down we. We need to get a handle on it.”

Veteran Administration statistics confirm 22 Veterans a day are succumbing to suicide on American soil.  

Every single one of the vets we spoke to had lost a friend to veteran suicide or knew of others attempting it.

Jerry Rogers explains, “We need to do some more studying, get hold of these people and connect with them. Most people when they get ready to commit suicide, they just want the pain to stop.”

How can you help?

Ricky Matias tells us, “To show your support for our veterans, get in contact with different veteran organizations and see what you could do. Just volunteering one day a month could change somebody’s life.”

Even one suicide is one too many!

You can learn more about the causes of veteran suicide by reading this article. Watch the entire interview on what the number 22 means to different veterans here.

We ask you Remember the 22 and give back to our vets by joining Warriors for Freedom and showing your support by giving your time. Just one day can make a difference.

Need more information? Get in touch. We’re happy to help.