22 Veterans take their own lives each day. The number 22 has become a rallying cry for advocates hoping to call attention to suicide among Veterans.
On Nov. 11, 2020 (Veteran’s Day), The American Legion Post #539 and Toyota of New Bern hosted the first March For The 22 event. To bring awareness to alarming Veteran suicide rates, with 22 pounds on our backs, ten walkers marched 22 kilometers from Pollocksville, North Carolina to Union Point Park in New Bern, North Carolina. The support from the community was overwhelming. Even through torrential downpours the group did not stop – we did not give up.
We now approach our third annual event. In 2021, that small group that started just the previous year – grew to over 220 individuals – and over 30 sponsors that stepped up to join the cause.
On Nov. 11th, 2022, March For The 22 Veterans Day Event will begin at 5:00 a.m., marching 22 miles from the Piggly Wiggly in Maysville, NC. We then collect those marching the 22km portion from Bender Signs in Pollocksville, NC. Together we will march to and through our local highways and streets, along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and collect those marching the 2km portion from Freshwater Beer Co. on Pollock St in New Bern, NC.
We hope to have a huge formation of supporters marching through Downtown New Bern, down Middle St., and arrive at 5:00 p.m. for the closing ceremonies at Union Point Park. This is the group of supporters that tells our Veterans “you are not alone!”
In order to march with us, please register at MarchForThe22. You will be able to choose which march duration (22mi, 22km, 2km) fits you best. All marchers are encouraged (not mandatory) to wear 22lbs on their backs to show support for our Veterans.
To sponsor this very worthy cause and event, please visit our Sponsorship page on MarchForThe22.us.
We encourage ALL to support. Those that cannot march or sponsor can see our event map on MarchForThe22.us to come out and cheer us on!
Here are a few things we’ve been able to provide with donations from our event and sponsors over the last year:
- Provided housing for three homeless veterans, along with gas and grocery gift cards to ensure they were on the path to success.
- When an active-duty family on Camp Lejeune experienced a tragic loss, we provided grocery cards to the family, so they could mourn without concern for food.
- Due to inflation, the spouse of a Vietnam Veteran was struggling to pay for gas to get to and from school. We provided fuel gift cards so she wouldn’t need to drop out.
- We provided funding for a Marine Corps Veteran to adopt a service dog, ensured they completed the service training, and funded the supplies necessary to build a fence for the dog at the veteran’s home.
- We provided a one-year scholarship to Rock Steady Boxing in New Bern for a Coast Guard Veteran battling Parkinson’s Disease
We hope that you will join us in supporting our Veterans and the battles they continue to fight.
For more details, contact:
Co-Founder – Adin Colón
Co-Founder – Elizabeth Hartman
Sponsorship Chair – Charlotte Martin
There is no political affiliation or influence allowed before, during, or any way involved with this event. This event is strictly to bring awareness to Veteran Suicide Rates. The American Legion Post 539 is a registered 501c19 and 100% of proceeds go directly to assisting our local Veterans.
By Taylor Shannon