Elder Heart Veterans launch Mission 22 Holiday Campaign to Prevent Veteran Suicide

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Elder Heart veterans are raising awareness of the shocking fact that 22 Vets a day commit suicide by launching a Mission 22 (http://www.mission22.com) holiday campaign. The goal is to let all Vets know there is help out there, end veteran suicide, and ramp up the support during the holidays.

With the giving season kicked off, Elder Heart in collaboration with CP+B Group, gives everyone an easy way to support veterans by launching a Mission 22 campaign for the holidays. And after the holidays, this long-term project will continue to raise awareness of the devastating fact that 22+ United States military veterans commit suicide every day as a result of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Mission 22’s aim is to spotlight this alarming statistic, and start a movement where everyone can help prevent veteran suicide.

Mission 22 is a call to action from Special Forces veterans who know first-hand the long-term pains of PTSD and TBI. This team is enlisting an army of civilians to show support for veterans and put an end to this tragic statistic. Everyone is asked to take one of these actions - every day in December:

1.    “Claim a 22” on buses, street signs, jerseys, racecars, and anywhere the number 22 is found.
2.    Post a selfie with the number 22, or any image with a 22, as an acknowledgement that it is time to stop veteran suicide on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #Mission22.
3.    Tag Mission 22 on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mi22ion or Twitter @Mission22

With 19.6 million veterans in the US (Source: 2013 American Community Survey), Mission 22 offers an easy way to send a loud message of compassion to the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect and serve the United States.

The Mission 22 project launched (October 22, 2014) with a powerful online video (http://bit.ly/1CU12hM) recounting how for many veterans, the end of combat does not bring an end to the pain, fear or stress that comes with war. The video concludes with the call to action for the public to “claim a 22” on social media. At launch time, Mission 22 received support from actress Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family", Pittsburgh Pirate’s #22 Andrew McCutchen and the entire Miami HEAT team, who have agreed to support the project through their social media channels. Other celebrities and athletes continue to join the cause everyday. Donated media is also being provided by Lettrs, Clear Channel Outdoor, Lamar Advertising, Delta Media, Military Times, The Hill, Varick Media Management and Collective.

About Elder Heart Veterans:
Elder Heart’s Special Forces Founders include Tom Spooner, a 21-year veteran of the US Army, who spent 15 years as a Green Beret and Delta Force operator with a sterling record as a Special Forces Operator and Sniper; Magnus Johnson, an eight-year veteran of the US Army, former Green Beret and Special Forces Operator with three combat tours, two in Afghanistan and one in Iraq; and Mike Kissel, a seven-year veteran who is a Green Beret and Special Forces Operative responsible for base security in combat zones and training of foreign military forces, and continues to serve in the National Guard.

Spooner, Johnson and Kissel, who have experienced severe PTSD and TBI, defy the stereotypes of soldiers returning from war and shed light on the harsh reality that PTSD affects all levels and types of soldiers, who should seek help. Their mission is to help eliminate the stigma associated with this issue that is a challenge, not just for our returning warriors, but for our society as a whole.

“We follow the casualty count of foreign conflicts daily. Yet each and every day, we lose 22 veterans to suicide here at home and it’s completely unacceptable,” said Spooner, who is featured in the online video. “With Mission 22, we want to create mass awareness of this problem through social sharing. Veterans will see 22 throughout their social news feeds and be offered hope, and will be directed to the tools they need to help them through the crippling after-effects of war.”

By creating this awareness, it assists in letting Vets know they are not alone. Many families have the hardest time getting past when a loved one comes back from conflicts. “Everyone, vets and their families, want things to return exactly as they were before deployment. And that just isn’t going to happen, and that’s ok. People naturally grow, evolve and change based on things that happen in their lives and war only accentuates this. You have to move forward—encourage your vet to look over the horizon and all of you should be open to new evolutions,” says Magnus Johnson.

About Mission 22
Mission 22 is a collaboration between Elder Heart, a veteran non-profit organization, and marketing agency CP+B comprised of Delta Force and Special Forces operators Tom Spooner, Magnus Johnson, and Mike Kissel. Mission 22 is also creating ground support for veterans by enlisting universities and professional sports teams to incorporate 22s on uniforms, helmets and stadium signage, and conduct different activation events during games. Additionally, Mission 22 is accepting donations and working with politicians and artists to create a permanent memorial to pay tribute to the 22 who lose the battle at home every day, and remind everyone of the ongoing need to support our veterans.

To learn more and/or to donate to the cause please visit Mission 22 (http://www.mission22.com) and Elder Heart (http://www.elderheart.org) that does community projects as well as public and corporate art to raise awareness.

For a timely interview please contact:

Liz Kelly
Goody PR

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Liz Kelly
Goody PR
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