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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
On Day 12 of our 22 days, 22 pushups a day challenge, I was at the World Famous Danville 4thof July Parade, where I was joined by Chief Paige Meyer and the brave men and women of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. Fire fighters, friends and future firefighters did 22 push-ups to raise awareness of the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day.This weekend as we gather together with our families to celebrate the 240th anniversary of our country’s independence, I invite you to recall the great service of our Veterans and those who need our help.
Have a safe and happy 4 th of July.
Today, at the halfway point of my 22 days, 22 pushups a day challenge to raise awareness for Veteran’s suicide, I visited Dublin’s Mape Memorial Park, named after United States Navy Commander John “Jack” Clement Mape, a 40-year old father of seven, who was Dublin’s first casualty in the Vietnam War. I was joined on Day 11 by Dublin residents Kevin Dielissen and Stephen Wright, whose son Dylan, is a member of the Army Reserves following 8 years of active duty service in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. All Veterans deserve our support as they return home. On average 22 Veterans die by suicide each day. By doing pushups, I hope to bring awareness to the issue and help to those who struggle. If you are a Veteran and you need support, please call 1-800-273-8255, and press 1. Help is available, you are not alone. Thank you to those who serve or have served, and the families and friends who support them.
On Day 10 of my 22 days, 22 pushups a day challenge to raise awareness for Veterans’ Suicide, I was joined at the City of Oakley Veterans Memorial Park by Vanessa Perry, Oakley City Councilmember, Board member of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Chair of the Oakley “Out of the Darkness” walk. Through her efforts and those of her colleagues on the “Out of the Darkness” Planning Committee, their inaugural walk last year raised over $40K to fund research to improve our understanding of suicide and to find ways to prevent it. Tragically, in the U.S., a person dies by suicide every 13.3 minutes, claiming more than 39,500 lives each year. On average, 22 veterans commit suicide each day. One life lost to suicide is one too many. We need to work together to support the efforts of organizations like the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to create a culture that’s smart about mental health and that provides support for those affected by suicide.
Gerald "J.R." Wilson, Commander of the Department of California Disabled American Veterans, as well as Antioch Mayor Wade Harper and Pittsburg Mayor Ben Johnson joined me today on Day 9 of my 22 day, 22 daily pushup challenge to raise awareness about Veterans' suicides. Today, we did our pushups at the Antioch Veterans Memorial Building where Loaves and Fishes volunteers were preparing to serve lunch to Antioch’s most needy, including a number of homeless veterans. 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