March 25 walk helps prevent veteran suicides


American Legion Post 129’s third-annual Challenge 22 Walk is set for Saturday, March 25 – with event net proceeds used to fund veteran suicide prevention programs and services in the beaches communities.

Walkers can pre-register at The cost is $22 per walker and $35 for registration and an event T-shirt.

Locally, American Legion 129 has 30 coalition partners and 10 strategic partners that receive funding to provide veteran prevention services in Northeast Florida.

“Through Challenge 22, we’re not only raising funds to help prevent suicide among our veterans, but also to raise awareness about veteran suicide in our beaches communities,” said Post 129 Commander Joe Maichle. “A survey conducted by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs showed that roughly 22 veterans are dying by suicide each day in our country.”

Here Tomorrow, a suicide prevention organization in Neptune Beach, is the presenting sponsor of Challenge 22. VyStar Credit Union is also a “brigade” sponsor for the event.

For sponsorship information and a sponsor form, go to or contact Legion Post 129 Treasurer Jim Wineland at

Post 129 hopes to raise $10,000 through the event, which will be distributed among suicide-prevention groups, treatment providers and nonprofits that help veterans in need of mental health assistance — including the American Legion Department of Florida’s Project VetRelief.

On-site registration starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 25, at the Jacksonville Beach Seawalk Pavilion, 75 First St. North. The program and walk begin at 10 a.m. with a 2.2-mile walk to Oceanfront Park, 429 First St. South. Silent auctions, raffles and other activities are planned after the event at Legion Post 129 in Jacksonville Beach from 4 to 8 p.m.

Challenge 22 is part of The 22 Project, which supports underserved war veterans who have traumatic brain injuries and are at risk for depression or suicide. In collaboration with physicians, therapists and health care workers, veterans receive advanced medical treatments including care and evaluation by highly trained, board-certified physicians at no cost to the veteran.


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