A candlelight vigil will be held on the Fredericksburg campus Sunday, March 19, to raise awareness about the alarming rate of veteran suicide. The ceremony, called Operation #22to0, will take place at Jefferson Square beginning at 7:30 p.m. The event is open to the public.
“Twenty-two veterans a day take their lives by way of suicide,” said Summer Watson, senior executive director of the Warrior Research Foundation that is coordinating the event in conjunction with UMW’s Association for Student Veterans.
The ceremony will be filmed, so participants are urged to bring a charged cellphone for flashlight illumination. Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be available.
The event is part of the “22 Push-Up Challenge,” where participants capture their push-ups on video and upload the clips, then challenge friends, family and co-workers to do the same. The project (https://www.22kill.com/22-honor-pushups/) aims to capture 22 million pushups on video.
As part of the yearlong campaign to combat veteran’s suicide, UMW’s student veterans held a campus-wide Veteran’s Day pushup challenge that featured a pumped-up appearance by President Troy Paino.
With 125 veterans currently enrolled, UMW has once again been designated a Military Friendly® School. The 2017 list, released by Victory Media, which publishes G.I. Jobs®, STEM Jobs℠, and Military Spouse, helps service members and their families select colleges, universities and trade schools that can best train them to pursue a civilian career.