22 Pushups: Day 22

Thursday, July 14, 2016

It’s the final day of my 22 Day, 22 Push-up Challenge. I was honored to be in Livermore at Las Positas Community College. I spoke to about 50 Vets at their Veterans First new veterans orientation. Thank you to Dr. Jannette Jackson, Chancellor, and Army Veteran for your gracious welcome.

I have met many wonderful people and learned a lot these past three weeks.  We have about 2 million vets in California. Most are leading productive and happy lives but a few too many are still struggling with homelessness, hunger, mental health challenges and self-destructive behavior. We can and must do better in giving them a helping hand.

I will continue to look for ways to support our active duty military and our great veterans. All of the liberties and freedoms we enjoy are due to their courage and dedication. I hope that you will take up the challenge to help our veterans. Please consider hiring a Vet in your business, volunteering or contributing to Vet organizations or engaging in your own Vet awareness challenge. 

Many thanks to the numerous community leaders, staff in my office and in the Senate leader’s office for supporting these awareness activities.  Finally, thank you to our Veterans for leading the way in service. You are our heroes and no one should be left behind.​

22 Pushups: Day 21

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

On day 21 of my 22 day, 22 pushup challenge to raise awareness to the tragedy of Veterans' suicide, I was joined at Brentwood Veterans Park by Steve Todd, Commander and Melissa Margain, Junior Commander, Brentwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1810, California Highway Patrol Officers, Brandon Correia and Tom Maguire, and Pittsburg Police Officer Heidi Maguire. The park with the Memorial Rose Garden, commemorative plaques and flags representing the military branches, provides a quiet place to remember the sacrifices of our brave soldiers and to reflect on our responsibility to provide support and care to them on their return. If you are a Veteran and you need support, please call 1-800-273-8255, and press 1.

22 Pushups: Day 20

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

On Day 20 of my 22 Day, 22 Pushup Challenge, I spent time with Michael Blecker, Vietnam Veteran and Executive Director of Swords to Plowshares at one of their permanent supportive housing sites, Veterans Commons.  Founded by veterans over 40 years ago, Swords to Plowshares provides a full range of wrap-around services, including housing, employment and training, and legal and health care assistance to roughly 3,000 veterans in the SF Bay Area each year. They also advocate on behalf of veterans and provide community education to first responders, employers and others who engage with veterans. Thank you to organizations like Swords to Plowshares and individuals like Dr. Michael Blecker who are on the frontlines of supporting and providing care to veterans and their families. To learn more, go to

22 Pushups: Day 19

Monday, July 11, 2016

In this Day 19 video of my 22-day, 22 pushup challenge to raise awareness for Veterans’ suicide, I was at the San Ramon Memorial Park. It is a lovely location with memorial plaques dedicated to veterans who lost their lives in the line of duty.  I was joined by Peggy Conklin and members of the Blue Star Moms, a service organization devoted to supporting each other as their sons and daughters serve in the Armed Forces of the United States. It is said that when a soldier deploys the entire family deploys. Also joining me at the push up challenge was San Ramon council member, Harry Sachs. Thank you to those who serve or have served and those who support our veterans.

22 Pushups: Day 18

Sunday, July 10, 2016

It is Day 18 of my 22 day, 22 pushup challenge. In this video at the Pittsburg Veterans Memorial, I was joined by City leaders and veterans from the American Legion, United Veterans Council, and Disabled American Veterans. Pittsburg’s police officers, many of whom continue to serve their communities after serving in the armed forces, participated in the push up challenge. Thank you to those who serve and continue to serve our country and to organizations and individuals who support veterans as they adjust to post-service life.

22 Pushups: Day 17

Saturday, July 09, 2016

On this day 17 video of my 22 day, 22 pushup challenge, I was joined by Pleasanton City Council Members Kathy Narum and Jerry Pentin, SFC Eric Richardson and Doug Miller at Pioneer Cemetery, the future site of the Pleasanton Veterans Memorial. The community support for the Memorial has been tremendous but they are about $50,000 short. I shared with Doug Miller, the Memorial's biggest booster that I will contribute or raise $12,000 toward meeting that shortfall. Many communities honor their veterans in this way and we need to make sure Pleasanton can do the same. If you would like to join me in supporting this effort, you can learn more and Donate here.


22 Pushups: Day 16

Friday, July 08, 2016

On day 16 of my 22 day, 22 pushup challenge, I was joined by Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson at the Vietnam War Memorial in Concord, California. The memorial grove of 32 oak trees represents the 32 Contra Costa County citizens who died in that war. Prior to our pushups, Mark and I discussed the tragic events that have occurred in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Dallas. This is a place of scenic beauty and for quiet reflection.

22 Pushups: Day 15

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Day 15 video of my 22 Day, 22 Pushup Challenge with Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern, his officers, and members of the 156th Academy class. I want to offer my special thanks to the 7 veterans in the group for their service in the armed forces and their continued service in the reserves. We owe our deepest gratitude and support to all Veterans.

22 Pushups: Day 14

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

On Day 14 of my 22 day, 22 pushup challenge to raise awareness of the tragedy of Veterans’ suicide, we traveled to the soon-to-be-opened Diablo Valley College Student Veteran Resource Center. The Student Veteran Resource Center provides a place where Veterans, guardsmen, and reservists can find assistance in receiving their military benefits, their transition into academic life and support for their ongoing academic success. Vice President of Student Services Dr. Newin Orante welcomed us into the Center and Contra Costa Community College District President Vicki Gordon led a group of staff members in the counting as Trustee Greg Enholm and Marketing Director Chrisanne Knox participated in the Challenge with me. On average about 8,000 veterans commit suicide each year. If you are a Veteran and you need help, please call 1-800-273-8255, and press 1. Help is available, you are not alone


22 Pushups: Day 13

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The 13th day of my 22 day, 22 pushup challenge was held at the Concord Veterans Center, an extraordinary resource for counseling and mental health services for active soldiers and retired veterans. We hear from Executive Director Jeffery Jewell about how his professional staff handles thoughts of suicide with care and support.  Retired Major General and current Concord City Councilmember Dan Helix led the push-up count 'military style'. We had a great group of veterans join in with the encouragement of Concord City Councilmember Tim Grayson.  We need to bring this issue of veteran suicide out from the shadows so Director Jewell and his team can get current and retired soldiers comfort and help.