A group of military veterans and civilians on Tuesday live-streamed themselves doing 22 rounds of 22 pushups — or 484 pushups each — to raise awareness for military and veteran suicide.
The event, organized by veteran Matthew Allen, was a take on the popular #22challenge — which challenges people to do 22 pushups a day for 22 days. Twenty-two is the number of veterans estimated to take their own lives every day.
Allen said he wanted to plant the flag for September 22 being the first Veteran and Military Suicide Prevention Day, in alignment with National Suicide Prevention Month.
“If you’re watching this, you’re part of this now,” Allen said during the event.
Allen told Breitbart News that instead of doing the normal #22challenge as he does every year, he wanted to have a bigger impact by gathering a group of people to do all 484 push-ups in one day and livestream the event.
The group brought together veterans and active duty service members from the four military branches: Army, Air Force, Navy, and the Marine Corps. Some wore weighted vests, others wore flag shorts or both.
The group, now named Team 22 Hardcore, did 22 pushups every two minutes for 44 minutes, while Dr. Carrie Elk from the Elk Institute live-narrated the event and discussed veteran suicide — the causes and how to talk to those who may be thinking about it.
Every two minutes, they were given the cue: “Push!”
The group has raised more than $2,500 towards suicide prevention efforts.
To reach a veteran crisis line 24 hours a day, dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1.