22 Million Pound Challenge aims to stop military suicides

Published: Nov. 9, 2015 at 8:54 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2015 at 7:14 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MT. WASHINGTON, KY (WAVE) - They are the casualties of war that don't always show up on the official count: 8000 veterans a year are committing suicide, 22 a day.

Wednesday, we're asking you to join in the effort to lift some of their burden and lift weights for the Active Heroes 22 million pound challenge, joining gyms, groups and schools across the country.

[PROGRAM ALERT: 22 Million Pound Challenge Telethon on WAVE 3 News]

Bullitt East High School decided to add the weightlifting challenge to its Veterans Day program.

"They will have the option to do arm curls as well as any kind of leg presses they want to do to get weight toward that goal," said Army National Guard Captain Justin Owens, who leads the school's JGROTC programs.

Active Heroes Event Manager Jeremy Sneed explained the challenge, using a 10 pound weight as an example. "If I'm going to do 10 on a curl up, it's just 10, 20, and so each time you pull that weight up, that's ten more pounds."

Sneed is organizing the 22 Million Pound Challenge for Active Heroes. "We have people here in Louisville, right here in Jefferson County, all the way
out to California. We have a team that's out there."

He said 22 million pounds is intended to draw attention to the fact that we're losing 22 veterans each day to suicide. "It's not pretty, it's not enjoyable, but it's something that people need to be made aware of because the statistic keeps going up," Sneed said.

"One veteran suicide is one too many. And I remember in previous years, it was 21 and now that it's 22, just represents that we are going in the wrong direction," said Captain Owens.

He hopes to get his whole school involved and take a big chunk out of the national goal. The goal for the school is 25,000 pounds.

"For them to be able to tell their students that this is happening, really warms my heart," Sneed said. "I think this school should be thought of very highly for dealing with something that's ugly that does need to be dealt with."

To donate to the 22 Million Pound Challenge, call 502-208-0875.
For more on Active Heroes and the 22 Million Pound Challenge, click here.

Copyright 2015 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.