I’ve always been interested in the United States Armed Forces. I have never served however many of my friends and family have. I wanted to extend my gratitude to all those that have served and are currently serving to protect our freedom and liberty. Politics aside and no matter what you believe of our government, those that have and are serving deserve to be remembered. Those that gave their lives both in the battlefield and as importantly, at home from suicide paid a price that can’t be given any other distinction than priceless.
I will make sure to teach my children the reason for Memorial Day so its meaning is never lost among the youth of our country. To honor those that died so the rest of us can live in this country without knowing the horrors of war in our back yards are heroes. I know freedom isn’t free and because of that, we have donated to both the Wounded Warrior Project and 22Kill.com.
Nexxus Cloud wishes to extend awareness to both of these charities and their causes.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families. On that date, America watched in horror as approximately 3,000 people died including hundreds of firefighters and rescue workers. Many warriors note a sense of duty to volunteer for the military following these tragic events.
Sept. 11 also served as a stimulus for Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn. Operation Iraqi Freedom refers to military operations in Iraq that began March 19, 2003 and officially ended August 31, 2010. Operation Enduring Freedom refers to combat operations in Afghanistan and other regions in support of the Global War on Terror. Operation New Dawn refers to the conclusion of operations in Iraq beginning September 1, 2010 and ending December 15, 2011.
For WWP, there is a distinct difference between members and alumni; the term alumni indicates a mutual shared experience and denotes your place in an organization was earned. There are no dues here - those were paid by wearing the uniform and on the battlefield.
Surviving the battlefield
With advancements in battlefield medicine and body armor, an unprecedented percentage of service members are surviving severe wounds or injuries. For every US soldier killed in World Wars I and II, there were 1.7 soldiers wounded. In Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, for every US soldier killed, seven are wounded. Combined, over 48,000 servicemen and women have been physically injured in the recent military conflicts.
In addition to the physical wounds, it is estimated as many as 400,000 service members live with the invisible wounds of war including combat-related stress, major depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another 320,000 are believed to have experienced a traumatic brain injury while on deployment.
320,000 estimated TBIs
400,000 estimated with PTSD
*numbers compiled as of May 1, 2015
A catalyst for change.
With the mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors, WWP is the hand extended to encourage warriors as they adjust to their new normal and achieve new triumphs. Offering a variety of programs and services, WWP is equipped to serve warriors with every type of injury – from the physical to the invisible wounds of war.
What is #22KILL?
#22Kill is a global movement created by veterans with a mission to:
- Honor those who serve(d)
- Raise veteran suicide awareness
- Recruit Veteran Advocates aka “Battle Buddies”
- Educate public about current veteran topics Empower veterans through programs at Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. – a nonprofit focused on education, mentorship, and community service.
Veteran Advocates aka “Battle Buddies” wear the #22Kill Honor Ring™ – a matte black band worn on the right index finger symbolizing the “trigger finger”. By choosing to become part of Team #22Kill and wear this ring, you are committed to:
- Research and learn about your local veteran service organizations and what their missions and needs are
- Focus on veteran strengths and challenge negative attitudes around veteran “issues” Advocate for veterans in a positive light in any platform you have
- Raising awareness to the issues of veteran suicide, but following up with the positive solution of education and empowerment through programs offered from your local nonprofits and veteran service organizations
- Believing that veteran’s are America’s greatest asset and you will strive to love them unconditionally
Naturally, people will ask you what the ring is about, and you can simply answer, “I’m a veteran’s advocate/battle buddy and it’s a 22Kill Honor Ring to honor those who served or are serving”. Typically, this is where magic happens and the conversation opens naturally around veteran empowerment and how everyone can do something.
History of #22Kill:
Honor Courage Commitment, Inc. started the #22KiLL movement in 2013 after learning about the staggering statistic that on average 22 veterans are killed by suicide every day (VA 2012). HCC is committed to understanding the genesis of this statistic and continues to research and educate #22KiLL’s Veteran Advocates on how this number is derived. HCC addresses both the challenges and confirmations of data allowing Veterans’ Advocates to comprise their own positions. We believe this statistic can be misleading, but in the end one suicide is one too many. 22KiLL uses this platform to raise awareness and attention towards not only veteran suicide, but all veteran issues including mental health, unemployment, and challenges veterans face transitioning out of the military. The solution here is to empower our veterans. #22KiLL supports not only HCC’s Veteran Empowerment Programs, but also other nonprofit organizations, community events, and projects. #22KiLL encourages our Veterans’ Advocates to seek out other veteran programs local to them so that we can validate and ultimately support their missions.