When tragedy struck at home, Daniel Saint and Doc King, two wounded combat veterans, hopped on their motorcycles and began a journey to find hope. It became a mission 6,500 miles long – a mission to raise awareness for the high rate of suicides among those who have served…and let them know that there is hope.
Project 22 – the movie
Why “22?” According to the most recent statistics available, 22 veterans kill themselves every day of the year. The number of suicides has actually exceeded the number of deaths in combat. Reaching those 22 men and women with hope is the goal of Project 22.
“Project 22” was filmed in 22 days over a 6,500 mile motorcycle ride from San Francisco, to New York City. Daniel Saint, a U.S. Marine, and Doc King, an Army Medic, set out across the country to talk with veterans, researchers, and healthcare professionals and listen to the stories of those who almost gave up. They were also looking for effective methods to help stem the tide of suicide among their brothers and sisters in arms.
“We were able to explore the therapeutic potential behind sailing, pottery, education, activism, family, service dogs, painting and more.
We also spoke with leading researchers of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress, mental health clinicians and educators, as well as, leading experts in warrior culture and combat stress. Coupled with the insightful and potentially life changing information we captured in interviews, we filmed the motorcycle awareness campaign, including camping, several organized rides and our final ride being escorted into World Trade Center by the Port Authority Police Department.”
Veterans Helping Veterans
The Walking Journey
Not only did “Project 22” gain veterans riding with them, but veterans walked 165 miles toward the movie screening in Wichita, Kansas on Thursday night.
Sgt. Anthony Marquez (USMC), who is in the film, walked from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Wichita KS, with Aaron “Chili” Childress, A.J.Wade, and Terry “Doc” Walker, for the film’s screening…165 miles in 4 days.
They reported that the support they received along the way was phenomenal: law enforcement, other veterans, students…
They had to treat blisters on their journey.
They were greeted by JROTC students from Derby High School. Aaron Childress posted on Facebook,
Had a chance to speak to a group of JROTC students from Derby HS. Young, not necessarily ready to hear the truth of why we’re walking. One student knew. He pulled me aside. I leaned down to hear what he said. “My dad…” So I asked him to say it again. “My dad was one of the 22…”. I’m glad I was wearing sunglasses.
Sunburns, blisters, and exhaustion with only 3 hours of sleep per night, all of the veterans made it in one piece. All three major network affiliates interviewed the walking team along the way.
When a veteran dies by his/her own hand, a part of America dies with him or her. It’s time we all turn that around. If their efforts save even one life, they will have accomplished the goal of Project 22.
This original article is posted at Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children
The movie ‘Project 22’ was sponsored by “Medicinal Missions” and funded by private donations through crowd-funding at Indiegogo, and From The Heart productions. Here is the movie trailer: