In its continuous support for the military and its veterans, Ansonia Gordon-Visselli American Legion Post 50 is addressing veteran suicides with a unique awareness activity. Nationally, the well-recognized static of 22 veterans per day committing suicide is a grim reality that need not be. Across the country, a popular “22 push-up” movement, where people volunteer to do 22 push-ups for 22 days while challenging others to do the same, has increased the awareness of this sad truth while giving hope to those veterans who are troubled in so many ways, for so many reasons.
Post 50, under the command of U.S. Army veteran Jack Granatie, looked for a more public way to get the message of veteran support out to the community at large. Post Adjutant Patrick Henri designed a display that consists of 22 individual signs depicting the silhouettes of kneeling soldiers. Accompanying them is a larger sign declaring, “22 Veterans Commit Suicide EVERY DAY. Please pray for our Vets”, along with the following contact information-To help: www.22kill.com; www.mission22.com; www.preventsuicideCT.org. For help: Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 PRESS 1; Military One Source 1-800-342-9647."
The display is being relocated to a new spot every day for at least 22 consecutive days so it can receive maximum exposure throughout town, utilizing public places, businesses and residential front yards as backdrops. It made its debut on Nov. 11 at the Ansonia Veterans Day Ceremony at Veterans Park next to City Hall, where many people offered their properties to host the collection of images. Due to press releases, more residents have asked to host the display, continuing its exhibition in town past the initial 22 days.
Once the exhibition has run its course, the entire display will be offered to other American Legion posts to set up in their towns.