#22PushupChallenge

803 soldiers from 20 nations took part in the 22 Pushup Challenge in Afghanistan

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Introduction

The #22PushupChallenge movement (also called the #22killpushupchallenge) was created by Andrew K. Nguyen, a Marine veteran and founder of numerous veteran organizations. The #22PushupChallenge movement is a suicide awareness campaign that requires participants to post a video of themselves doing 22 pushups in remembrance of the 22 veterans who take their own lives each day. According to the 2012 Department of Veterans Affairs study, 22 is the average number of veterans who die by suicide on a daily basis. The Department of Veterans Affairs study is the foundation for the #22PushupChallenge, which became a social movement by gaining popularity on various social media and mainstream media channels. Supporters of the movement post a video of themselves completing the 22 pushups, and in turn challenge others to follow suit and post on social media as well. The #22PushupChallenge movement is not only a campaign about military veteran suicide awareness, but it is also a campaign with the call to action that asks supporters to donate to veteran-focused initiatives. The movement has been successful in raising over half a million dollars to sponsor various veteran service organizations and charities.[1] The success of the #22PushupChallenge movement can also be attributed to a strong political statement: 22 veterans committing suicide each day is an alarmingly high number of deaths, and it is imperative that government do something about it!

Context

Key Terms

Veteran: a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.[2] 

Department of Veterans Affairs: The second-largest cabinet department, the VA coordinates the distribution of benefits for veterans of the American armed forces and their dependents. The benefits include compensation for disabilities, the management of veterans’ hospitals, and various insurance programs.[3]

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a psychiatric disorder that can occur in individuals who experience or witness a traumatic event. These events can cause disturbing thoughts and feelings related to the event long after it has ended.[4]

Media – Videos

https://twitter.com/PROcast/status/850469293909200896?s=20 

https://twitter.com/NYPDChiefofDept/status/1177380180190531584?s=20 

https://twitter.com/BroncosCheer/status/1197625533602779136?s=20 

https://twitter.com/DCCheerleaders/status/1194794183699120130?s=20 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5ZYRFYNe4I&feature=youtu.be 

 

Media – Images 

#22PushupChallenge 803 soldiers
803 soldiers from 20 nations took part in the 22 PushUp Challenge in Afghanistan[5]
#22PushupChallenge NYPD pushups
Dozens of NYPD members took part in the #22PushupChallenge to raise awareness of veteran suicides as part of suicide prevention month[6]
#22PushupChallenge firefighters pushups
Firefighters take on the 22 push-up challenge to raise awareness of veteran suicide[7]
#22PushupChallenge
Push up challenge raises awareness of veteran suicide[8]

History Timeline

01.02.2013

Department of Veterans Affairs releases its 2012 Suicide Data Report, which reveals that approximately 22 veterans die by suicide everyday. 

16.08.2013

#22PushupChallenge created by Andrew K. Nguyen’s veteran nonprofit, Honor Courage Commitment. #22PushupChallenge becomes popular on social media. Partnership with Thunder Road Film’s #Sweat4Vets, which is a Virtual 5K Fundraiser for veterans.

26.03.2014

Julie Hersh, an avid mental health advocate, publishes an article about Andrew K. Nguyen, the #22PushupChallenge movement, veterans’ struggle transitioning to civilian life, and the alarming rates of military veteran suicide.

30.04.2014

Julie Hersh publishes another Psychology Today article, which catalyzes the #22PushupChallenge movement. As President of the Hersh Foundation, Hersh pledges to donate $100 per pushup video posted on social media over a week’s time.

25.06.2014

The Hersh Foundation receives thousands of #22PushupChallenge video submissions and writes a $100,000 check to Andrew K. Nguyen’s nonprofit, Honor Courage Commitment.

01.07.2015

22Kill raised awareness about military veteran suicide and promoted the #22pushupchallenge primarily on social media. The transformation to nonprofit status allowed the organization to not only focus on suicide awareness but also on suicide prevention programs.

16.08.2016

Over August and September of 2016, the #22PushupChallenge becomes a viral social media campaign. Mainstream news outlets, such as CBS, CNN, and NBC, post articles/television segments about the #22PushupChallenge and military veteran suicide awareness.

20.09.2019

Report releases new statistics, including that over 6,000 veterans died by suicide in 2017. Report also proves that the #22PushupChallenge movement was successful in raising awareness and funds for suicide prevention programs. The report concluded that the number of veterans who died by suicide reduced to 17 people per day.

01.10.2019

Since its peak in 2016, the #22PushupChallenge has waned in popularity. However, 2019 saw a resurgence of the challenge on Twitter. The Broncos Cheer Team, Cowboys Cheer Team,  NYPD, Mission 22, and various other organizations participated in raising awareness for the #22PushupChallenge movement.

Social Media Presence

Platforms Used

The #22PushupChallenge movement has been fairly active on a few different forms of social media. On Facebook, there are many smaller groups (100 – 2000 people) centered around the theme of veterans checking in on each other. These groups are often filled with veterans sharing their daily 22 pushups. Some of these groups are exclusive to veterans, while others are open to family, friends, advocacy organizations, and other supporters of the #22PushupChallenge movement. Instagram and Twitter have also been popular places used to spread the #22PushupChallenge and increase awareness about military veteran suicide. This hashtag is included in a wide variety of posts, all helping the movement to gain traction. Many of these posts double as advertisements for events and campaigns raising money for veterans. Another place the hashtag lives is on GoFundMe, a website that enables users to create fundraisers for causes of their choice. There are a number of fundraisers with the goal of raising money to help stop veteran suicide. GoFundMe fundraisers tend to rely on visibility to accomplish their goal of raising money, so it is of little surprise that fundraisers for veterans would synergize with the #22PushupChallenge and the popularity that comes with it.

Popular Hashtags

Aside from #22PushupChallenge, other popular hashtags relating to this movement are #PTSD, #sweatforvets, and #22ADay. #PTSD draws attention to a common ailment veterans often face upon returning home, and posts including this hashtag often have a more somber tone. Similarly, #22ADay refers to the statistic that 22 veterans a day die from suicide. This hashtag is often used for the simple shock value it might have on someone who was not previously aware of the statistic. The popular #sweatforvets is often used in relation to a charity event involving exercise, such as a 5K run, that raises money to support veteran groups. While all these hashtags are helpful in raising veteran suicide awareness, #22PushupChallenge is most prolific in the movement to raise awareness of veteran suicide rates and end veteran suicide.

Importance of Social Media

Social media has been an  instrumental tool in growing the viral #22pushupchallenge and spreading awareness about the alarming rates of military veteran suicide. The establishment of Facebook groups, social media posts, and GoFundMe campaigns has afforded supporters of the movement the opportunity to form a community with a common interest in military veteran suicide. Xiao Mina explains the relationship between community building and social movements in the following excerpt from Memes to Movements. She states that forming a cohesive movement requires overcoming pluralistic ignorance, which is:

the mistaken belief by a group that their beliefs are not shared by their peers…[The movement then] happens thanks to the community building afforded by internet expression, and, by extension how these forms of expression challenge pluralistic ignorance. After pluralistic ignorance is broken, new norms of behavior and belief can start to form through regular repetition and affirmation of messages – a  process called synchronization of opinion.>

The #22PushupChallenge movement brought the alarming statistics pertaining to veteran suicides rates to the attention of the general public. The spread of the challenge across various social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and GoFundMe) reached vast audiences across different platforms. For much of the general public, this was the first time being exposed to the fact that approximately 22 veterans lose their lives by suicide each day. As discussed in class, Twitter has become an increasingly popular platform for journalists to discover what topics/social issues are trending. The involvement of journalists in the #22PushupChallenge movement is crucial because this lead mainstream news networks to publish media about military veteran suicide. The spread to mainstream media channels significantly raised awareness about veteran suicide amongst members of the public who do not engage in social media.

Organic vs. Planned Growth

The growth of this movement has largely been organic. #22PushupChallenge went viral on social media and attracted an enormous amount of attention thanks to celebrification of the movement, and individual engagement and participation in the challenge. Numerous nonprofit, grassroot organizations have worked to promote the movement’s cause. Although there are no major corporations or marketing teams orchestrating this movement, it is not a leaderless movement. Andrew K. Nguyen and Julie Hersh both played instrumental leadership roles that involve planning the growth of the movement and raising awareness about military veteran suicide. Additionally, many of the nonprofit organizations detailed below have played key roles in spreading the message of this movement.

Key Actors

To raise awareness for the #22PushupChallenge, the movement leveraged the elite status and fame of celebrities that participated in the challenge on social media. Former presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg have supported the movement by tweeting about the alarming number of veteran suicides. Celebrities have supported the movement by posting videos of themselves speaking about veteran suicide and completing their 22 pushups. Xiao Mina calls this tactic  “celebrification,” which exaggerates an everyday life activity on social media “for the sake of creating cheap content.”[10]  Thanks to the celebrification of the movement, highly influential participants, and enormous fanbases, the #22PushupChallenge has helped to raise awareness about the alarming rates of veteran suicide. Here are five particularly noteworthy posts, along with a screenshot of John Krasinski’s Twitter:

Simone Manuel 22 Pushup Challenge

The Rock 22 Pushup Challenge

John Krasinksi 22 Pushup Challenge

Chris Evans 22 Pushup Challenge

Kevin Hart 22 Pushup Challenge

 

Offline Presence

Organizations Involved 

22Kill is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness about veteran suicide and mental health, and to empower veterans. Before becoming a nonprofit in 2015, 22Kill started in 2013 as an initiative to raise awareness upon the basis of the 22 a day statistic from the VA’s 2012 Suicide Data Report. 22Kill is largely credited with starting the pushup challenge as a means of spreading awareness at this time. Eventually, by 2016 the movement gained great popularity as the #22PushupChallenge movement. 22Kill now continues on in their mission to raise awareness of veteran suicide and mental health, and continues to empower veterans to access mental wellness services in order to live healthy civilian lives.[11]

The Hersh Foundation is run by its president, Julie Hersh, who is an avid advocate for mental health awareness. Hersh has written articles about Andrew K. Nguyen, his nonprofit organizations, and his development of the #22PushupChallenge movement. Hersh wrote about the mental health issues that can contribute to military veteran suicide. She also raised awareness about the movement by pledging to donate $100 per pushup challenge video over the course of one week. Hersh’s pledge resulted in over 10,000 video submissions, and the Hersh Foundation donated $100,000 dollars to Nguyen’s Honor Courage Commitment nonprofit.[12]

Mission 22 is a nonprofit organization headed by husband and wife team Sara and Magnus Johnson. Since 2013, the organization’s mission has been to reduce veteran suicide rates by aiding returned veterans to cope with and heal from PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, and in their transition back into civilian life. Mission 22 hosts and attends events like 5K runs and comedy nights in their effort to raise awareness and funding.[13]

Til Valhalla is a nonprofit owned and operated by veteran, Korey Shaffer. Its mission is to reduce suicide among veterans and honor fallen veterans. Since 2017, the Til Valhalla Project has been honoring and memorializing veterans who die by suicide by giving free memorial plaques to their families. To fund this endeavor, the Til Valhalla Project raises money by selling clothing and apparel, which include this “22 A Day Memorial Bracelet.” As stated on the website, “When you buy from Til Valhalla Project, you are not only preserving the legacies of our fallen, but also saving the lives of those who are currently struggling.”[14] 20 percent of revenue goes directly to charities and efforts towards reducing veteran suicides, including working closely with Mission 22. Although it has no direct reference to the #22PushupChallenge, the movement most likely influenced the creation of the Til Valhalla Project. 

Analog Antecedents 

The #22PushupChallenge is a unique movement that does not appear to have any direct predecessor. However, #22ADay has been a contemporaneous movement with the same overall goal.  #22Pushup Challenge has served as the physically engaging and much more viral arm of the movement while #22ADay has served as the more informative and the currently more used hashtag of the overall movement.

Impact of the Movement

The #22PushUpChallenge movement has helped combat veteran suicide by raising awareness to the shocking statistic on veteran suicide rates. By visually manifesting the weight of this tragedy through this physical challenge, those who participate in the challenge and engage with it on social media are reminded of the physical, mental, and emotional burden many veterans struggle with. The #22PushUpChallenge encouraged donations to projects such as Mission 22, increased volunteering to help veterans, and has pushed the issue into the political agenda to make an effective systemic change at the governmental level with legislative achievements to improve Veterans’ Affairs. While it is difficult to quantify the contribution of the #22PushUpChallenge in-terms of legislative achievements and paradigm shifts within the VA, the continued use of the 22 Veteran suicides a day statistic shows its lasting impact.  Since the 2012 report, the most comprehensive report on Veteran suicide rates was released in 2014 by the VA which cited an average of 20 Veteran suicides a day.[15] Even with these more recent figures, 22 Veteran suicides a day is still often cited. During a speech on October 3, 2019 to Veterans addressing PTSD, President Trump stated “You know, people are dying, not only the 22 suicides a day which is inconceivable when you hear that. When I first heard that I said, no you mean a month. I mean, can you imagine a day, 22 suicides a day?”[16] Even with VA revisions, the virality of the #22PushUpChallenge continues to remain in the public’s mind and continues to remain a rallying cry for this epidemic.

Legislative Achievements

Since the release of the 2012 Veterans Affairs Suicide Data Report and the subsequent creation of the #22PushUpChallenge movement, the VA’s budget has increased by 73.66%.[17]  This general upward trend in overall VA funding can be seen in figure 1 below. Within this budget increase, mental health and suicide prevention spending has been one of the major provisions affected. The 2012 proposed budget allocated $6.2 billion for mental health and $68 million for suicide prevention,[18] while in the approved 2020 VA budget, mental health services received $9.4 billion in funding while $222 million was devoted to suicide prevention.[19] This yearly increase in funding is expected to continue, the 2021 budget proposal is requesting $243 billion in total funding with a $10.3 billion allocation to mental health services.[20] These large funding increases have also been accompanied by other directives that focus on particular services rather than the overall budget.

Directives directly confronting Veteran suicide prevention are President Obama’s 2012 Executive Order (EO) “Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families”. This EO calls on the cooperation of the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and local communities to improve their mental health care services for military service members, especially during their transition into civilian life.[21] The EO was written specifically to expand veteran suicide prevention and drug abuse efforts. Not only did it demand the Veteran Crisis Line’s capacity be expanded by 50% by December 31, 2012, it also demanded the VHA to connect any veteran in mental health crisis to a mental health professional or trained mental health worker within 24 hours of contacting the Veteran Crisis Line.[22] In conjunction, this EO calls on the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to work together to launch a year-long veteran suicide prevention campaign starting September 1, 2012 to encourage veterans to proactively reach out for mental health services.[23] The precedent set by this executive order in 2012 continues to stimulate the improvement of VA mental health services today on the federal level.

In 2015, the Clay Hunt Veterans Suicide Prevention Act was enacted. It requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to organize and provide an array of services to facilitate the VA’s efforts in providing mental healthcare services to veterans. According to this act, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs is required to organize an annual third-party evaluation of the VA’s mental health care and suicide prevention programs, to mandate website updates at least once every 90 days about the VA’s mental health care services, to offer educational incentives for psychiatrists who commit to serving in the VHA, to collaborate with nonprofit mental health organizations with the goal of preventing veteran suicide, and to extend veterans’ eligibility for VA hospital care, medical service care, and nursing home care. However, the limitations of this act are very restricting. Veterans can only access extended eligibility if they have been discharged or released from active duty between the years of 2009 and 2011 and if they have not enrolled in care during the five years following their discharge.[24]

The most recent directive, signed on March 5th, 2019 was the Executive Order on a National Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End Suicide signed by President Trump. The purpose of this EO is to call on the nation for their help with the fight against veteran suicides.[25] The order points to a lack of coordination between entities rather than a lack of resources as being a key contributor to current veteran suicide rates.[26] Due to this, the EO aims to establish coordinated efforts within suicide prevention, research, and collaboration between the public and private domains. To achieve these goals, an interagency task force has been developed to create and implement a framework that addresses these issues at both a national and a community level.[27]

Revision of Veteran Suicide Rates

Similar to the budget increases received following the 2012 VA report on veteran suicides and the subsequent movements which followed, the recording of veteran suicide rates have undergone a major revision to better grasp the Veteran suicide epidemic. From 2012’s report to 2019’s report, veteran suicide rates have have been revised  from 22 suicides a day on average[28] to 16.8.[29] Due to the revisions and refined scope of the report, the daily averages of Veteran suicide were lowered and showed a more stable trend than previously reported. These revisions addressed the calls on the VA to look at the United States as a whole and to separate the Veteran population from the grouping of the 2012 report which include Active Duty and Reserve military members.

Critiques of the Movement

Complexity of Statistical Data

The 22 veteran suicide deaths a day figure has become the subject of criticism due to the complexity involved in determining veteran suicide rates and turning those findings into a single finite value.[30] Critics argue that this number established in the 2012 VA study on veteran suicides was limited in scope and carried a multitude of caveats forewarned by the authors of the study.[31] The 2012 study only looked at veteran records from 21 states, excluding states such as California and Texas who have very large veteran populations. It was also found that this report included active duty service members, reservists and National Guardsmen.[32] In addition, it was identified in this report that there was “significant limitation” in the available data, which included individuals incorrectly identified as veterans on their death certificate. When Michelle Ye Hee Lee of the Washington Post, interviewed Robert Bossarte, one of the authors of the 2012 study about the widely cited statistic he said “It’s not that I oppose the number 22 but it’s frequently not contextualized. So we focus on that number rather than what’s really happening within that number.”[33] This position has garnered attention, not calling into question the worthiness of movements such as #22PushupChallenge, but rather cautioning the use of such an alarming statistic with a lack of comprehensive data. 

Slacktivism

The #22PushUpChallenge movement participants have received criticism for so-called “slacktivism” also known as “clicktivism.”[34]  Pete Ross of the Observer, a fellow Veteran, argues that while people may have the best intentions in-mind when completing the 22 Pushup Challenge, it leaves no tangible results.[35]  Ross also goes on to argue that many of the videos posted never leave information on how to volunteer, donate or even learn more about the epidemic. This, he argues, has lead to initial interest in the issue without sustained participation unless one is personally affected by veteran suicide. While this focuses particularly on the participants, there has been criticism of the movement as a whole. Carl Forsling of Task and Purpose, much like Mr. Ross, points out that if people who post to social media do not follow up, then an opportunity is squandered. He then goes even further, honing in on the movement itself,  saying, “The difference between a truly successful social media campaign like the Ice Bucket Challenge and the 22 Pushups Challenge is that the first used social media as a means to an end, while the other used social media as a means in itself.[36] While these criticisms point to lack of action, 22Kill, an organization in support of the #22PushupChallenge, explicitly stated in a 2016 interview with CNN that their primary goal is to raise awareness not money.[37]

Conclusion

What began as a way to honor military veterans and their service, the #22PushupChallenge quickly evolved into a rallying cry to address veteran suicide. The #22PushupChallenge movement is ongoing along with some of the other aforementioned movements as they work concurrently on tackling the issue veteran suicide. The movement’s viral spread on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, GoFundMe, and Twitter in 2016 lead to a multitude of celebrity endorsements. These endorsements and participation in the movement allowed #22PushupChallenge to channel attention to the underlying epidemic and to raise funding to affect change. While it is challenging to identify causation between the online movement and real policy changes, the fact is that from the time of the movements founding to present day, the VA budget for suicide prevention has increased three-fold, and tranformitive legislation has been introduced. The transformative of this movement has not come without criticism though. The inherent difficulty in quantifying veteran suicide statistics has lead to criticism of the cited 22 veteran deaths by suicide a day as being deceiving. Additionally, the #22PushupChallenge movement has been labeled as slacktivism by some who argue that the movement and its participants achieve very little tangible results in the battle against veteran suicide. While there have been great strides in funding and legislation, it is yet to be seen if the overall rates of veteran suicide will decrease significantly with these additional assets. The #22PushupChallenge is paradigmatic of how social media can take a grassroots effort of a particular community and bring it to the forefront of society and government on a national level.

 

Group Members

  • Adam Ash

Adam is a third year Berkeley Student majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He hopes to learn how social media can be a spark for good in the world. In his free time, he enjoys going outside, reading, and getting brunch.

  • Kevin Brown

Kevin is a fourth year student at UC Berkeley studying Mechanical Engineering. He is interested in the intersection of social movements and technology. From this course he hopes to gain a much more robust understanding of this intersection and how to navigate it.  In his free time, he likes to hike, surf and explore the local restaurant scene.

  • Marian Joyce

Marian is a third year student at UC Berkeley studying Art History and French. This course’s focus on Social Media interests Marian’s foundation in Art History. She is especially interested in Social Media’s ability to aggregate mass action through a visually driven medium. Marian will use the knowledge and skills learned in this course to inform her interest in the intersection between movements on social media and modern art movements. 

  • Sabrina Lewis

Sabrina is a fourth year student at the UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Spanish Language and Literature. She is captain of the Cal Equestrian Team and president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Rho Chapter. In her free time, Sabrina enjoys horseback riding, jogging, going on bike rides, and cooking. 

 

Sources

[1]“About 22KILL: Mission & History.” 22Kill, 2013, www.22kill.com/about/#/mission-and-history.

[2] Editor, VA.org. “What Is a Veteran? The Legal Definition.” VA.org, 27 Mar. 2020, va.org/what-is-a-veteran-the-legal-definition/.

[3] Affairs., D. of V. (2005, January 1). Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from https://www.va.gov/ABOUT_VA/index.asp

[4] “What Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder?” Edited by Felix Torres, What Is PTSD?, 2020, www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd.

[5] Eggen, Frank. #22PushUpChallenge. 23 September 2016. Online Image. Flickr. 3 March 2020. https://www.flickr.com/photos/frankeggen/29925328105

[6] Pichardo, Chief Fausto. “Today Dozens of #NYPD Members Took Part in the #22pushupchallenge to Raise Awareness of Veteran Suicides as Part of #SuicidePreventionMonth. Pic.twitter.com/VZVQC5lTkg.” Twitter, Twitter, 26 Sept. 2019, twitter.com/nypdchiefpatrol/status/1177341112450727936?lang=en.

[7] Mears, Tyler. “Firefighters Get Involved in 22 Push up Challenge for Veteran Charity.” Walesonline, 5 Aug. 2016, 20:31, www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/firefighters-take-22-push-up-11710914.

[8] Moody, R. Norman. “Push up Challenge Raises Awareness of Veteran Suicide.” Florida Today, Florida Today, 23 July 2016, www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2016/07/22/push-up-awareness-veterans-suicide/87003966/.

[9] Xiao Mina, An. Memes to Movements. Boston, Beacon Press, 2019.

[10] Xiao Mina, An. Memes to Movements. Boston, Beacon Press, 2019.

[11] “Mission and History – 22KILL Organization.” 22Kill, https://www.22kill.com/about/mission-and-history/

[12] Hersh, Julie K. “Intrinsic Motivation: The Missing Link in Mental Health Care.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 30 Apr. 2014, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/struck-living/201404/intrinsic-motivation-the-missing-link-in-mental-health-care.

[13] “When Their Tour is Over, Our Mission Begins.” Mission 22, www.mission22.com.

[14] “About Us.” Til Valhalla Project, www.tilvalhallaproject.com/pages/about-us.

[15] Mclaughlin, Elizabeth. “VA Releases Results of Largest Analysis of Veteran Suicide Rates.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 7 July 2016, 0547, abcnews.go.com/US/va-releases-results-largest-analysis-veteran-suicide-rates/story?id=40401007.

[16] White, Daniel. “Donald Trump’s Remarks to Veterans: Read the Transcript.” Time, Time, 3 Oct. 2016, time.com/4517279/trump-veterans-ptsd-transcript/.

[17] Taylor, D. “Veterans Affairs Budget Request 9.5% Higher Than Last Year: Analysis.” Association of the United States Navy, 18 Mar. 2019, ausn.org/veterans-affairs-budget-request-9-5-higher-than-last-year-analysis/.

[18] Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. “Veterans Affairs.” Go to VA.gov, 1 Sept. 2016, www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=2054.

[19] III, Leo Shane. “Another Big Boost for VA Funding in the Latest Federal Budget Deal.” Military Times, Military Times, 19 Dec. 2019, www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/12/19/another-big-boost-for-va-funding-in-latest-federal-budget-deal/.

[20] “VA Strengthens Care and Benefits for Veterans with $243 Billion Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2021.” Go to VA.gov, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, 10 Feb. 2020, 13:34, www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5393.

[21] “VA Strengthens Care and Benefits for Veterans with $243 Billion Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2021.” Go to VA.gov, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, 10 Feb. 2020, 13:34, www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5393.

[22] Ibid

[23] Ibid

[24] Walz, Timothy. “H.R.203 – 114th Congress (2015-2016): Clay Hunt SAV Act.” Congress.gov, 12 Feb. 2015, www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/203.

[25] United States, Executive Office of the President [Donald Trump]. Executive order 13861: Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families. 5 Mar. 2019. National Archives and Records Administration. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-national-roadmap-empower-veterans-end-suicide/

[26] Ibid

[27] “VA and White House Launch Veteran Suicide-Prevention Task Force.” Go to VA.gov, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, 17 June 2019, 1514, www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5272.

[28] Kemp JE, Bossarte R. Suicide Data Report, 2012. Washington, DC: Department of Veterans Affairs; 2013.

[29] National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, 2019. Washington,DC: Department of Veterans Affairs; 2020.

[30] Lee, Michelle. “Analysis | The Missing Context behind the Widely Cited Statistic That There Are 22 Veteran Suicides a Day.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 4 Feb. 2015, www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/02/04/the-missing-context-behind-a-widely-cited-statistic-that-there-are-22-veteran-suicides-a-day/.

[31] Price, Jay. “The Number 22: Is There A ‘False Narrative’ For Vet Suicide?” NPR, NPR, 1 Oct. 2015, www.npr.org/2015/10/01/444999996/the-number-22-is-there-a-false-narrative-for-vet-suicide.

[32] III, Leo Shane. “New Veteran Suicide Numbers Raise Concerns among Experts Hoping for Positive News.” Military Times, Military Times, 9 Oct. 2019, www.militarytimes.com/news/pentagon-congress/2019/10/09/new-veteran-suicide-numbers-raise-concerns-among-experts-hoping-for-positive-news/.

[33] Lee, Michelle. “Analysis | The Missing Context behind the Widely Cited Statistic That There Are 22 Veteran Suicides a Day.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 4 Feb. 2015, www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/02/04/the-missing-context-behind-a-widely-cited-statistic-that-there-are-22-veteran-suicides-a-day/.

[34] Ross, Pete. “Doing 22 Push-Ups and Posting It on Facebook Doesn’t Help Veterans.” Observer, Observer, 27 Aug. 2016, observer.com/2016/08/doing-22-push-ups-and-posting-it-on-facebook-doesnt-help-veterans/.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Forsling, Carl. “The 22 Pushups Challenge Isn’t Actually Helping Anyone.” Military.com, 25 Aug. 2016, www.military.com/daily-news/2016/08/25/the-22-pushups-challenge-isnt-actually-helping-anyone.html.

[37] “22 Push-Up Challenge Hopes to Save the Lives of Veterans.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 16 Aug. 2016, www.cbsnews.com/news/22-push-up-challenge-hopes-to-save-the-lives-of-veterans/.

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