Raising Community Awareness of the Veteran Suicide Rate
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, and Moraine Park Technical College and Marian University teamed up once again to sponsor a veteran’s suicide awareness event, dubbed 22 No More. A 2.2-mile trek to help raise awareness of the many veterans’ lives lost too soon due to suicide.
Over 125 people participated in this year’s annual event, intended to raise awareness of the alarming suicide rate among veterans and, form a strong community around those who have served or currently serving. Although 2.2 miles may not seem like a significant distance, the number was chosen to identify the 20-22 veteran suicides or, one every 80 minutes which occur every day, and, ensure everyone who attended would be able to take part in the event.
Participants received a free 22 No More water bottle or small nylon sport-pack courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs and everyone was encouraged to honor a service member by carrying a photo of them during the walk. There was also an opportunity for the community to meet with area veteran resource providers, the National Guard, and ROTC service members.
The event began promptly at 10:00 a.m. with a flag presentation by Marian University’s ROTC followed by the 2.2-mile walk around the Fond du Lac Soccer Complex. Participants also got the marathon treatment courtesy of MPTC’s Health and Wellbeing Committee who provided water and bananas along the way and, the walk ended with a free from Yummy Bones Barbeque sponsored by Moraine Park’s Student Veterans and Civil Engineering Technology Clubs. Plans are in the works to conduct the 22 No More walk again next year, and we are always looking for new ways to raise awareness and increase participation. If you would like more information or may be interested in assisting next year, please contact Steve Pepper, Moraine Park’s Student Veteran Specialist at 920-924-3489 or firstname.lastname@example.org .