On Thanksgiving Day, NFL Hall of Fame members Chris Doleman, Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin, Bruce Smith and Michael Haynes will be featured on CBS NFL Today to give thanks to military service men and woman and discuss Remembering the 22, an initiative to raise awareness about veteran suicide.
According to recent studies, a staggering 22 veterans take their own lives each day due to untreated combat-related stressors and injuries. Doleman will also be sharing details from his time spent with the beneficiaries of the non-profit organization Warriors for Freedom organization. Sportscaster James (JB) Brown will host and narrate the piece created by award-winning television producer, Charlie Bloom, set to air on Thursday, Nov. 26 before the Panthers-Cowboys game at 4 p.m. ET.
Remembering the 22 asks athletes, celebrities, individuals and businesses to donate $22 to Warriors for Freedom, to take a stand with them against this epidemic. For more information about Remembering the 22, go to www.rememberingthe22.org.
Each year, thousands of veterans return from service and find themselves struggling with PTSD, the after effects of TBI, night terrors, and untreated clinical depression related to traumatic, life-changing injuries. The statistic of 22 lives being lost each day is staggering, and largely unknown by most Americans. These service members are so challenged by their return to civilian life that many resort to ending their lives – leaving behind broken hearts, and forever-changed families left with tremendous grief and ensuing financial hardship.
But there is hope delivered by a rather unique form of therapy. Research supports the fact that one of the most effective methods of counseling takes place between peers. Taking a group out to play together replicates the camaraderie of military service — and helps vets open up with one another about the difficulties they may be experiencing. Reacting to that information, Warriors for Freedom began their program featuring group activities for vets.
Last year, when contacted by Oklahoma-based organization, Chris Doleman was asked to travel to Ireland to play golf with disabled veterans as a form of treatment. Doleman will discuss his time spent with military heroes as a form of rehabilitative recreation, and the lasting impact of each of their personal stories.
Remembering the 22, has been created to raise capital for recreational outings hosted by Doleman’s online fundraising company, Dolemanity. A donation of just $22 will go toward funding more of these special events for those returning from deployment.
“I was shocked to learn about the number of suicides that take place daily by our veterans, and how they struggle when they come home. After being included on the golf trip, I was able to see firsthand that recreational therapy works,” said Hall of Famer Chris Doleman.
Warriors for Freedom representative Amber Moulder added, “These men and women are trained to go into battle and survive, but when they return home the world they once knew is a foreign country — and there’s no training to help navigate their new lives. Our organization provides veterans the opportunity to connect with like-minded heroes who understand their daily struggles.”