Mission 22 Veteran Suicide Awareness Challenge

By Lt. Shelby Brown and PIO Stephanie Lane

From Left to Right: Blake Sitton, Lt. Shelby Brown, Joshua Gibson, Chase Bedford, David Savelieff, and Charles Lake

Mission 22 published a challenge on social media asking for support through a fundraiser for their foundation. Their foundation’s focus is to provide various personalized resources to help Veterans and their families to thrive. Lt. Shelby Brown’s best friend, a veteran of the war in Iraq, is now a representative of the foundation and works at the branch in Bend. Lt. Brown is pursuing an opportunity to become an ambassador for the foundation.

Through the foundation’s Facebook page, there was a promotion for a fitness challenge to help bring awareness to the struggles of Veterans and their families and raise money for their foundation. The challenge was to have supporters donate money or challenge themselves to complete 2,200 push-ups to show their support of veterans lost or struggling, and the families affected by either, including the struggle to reacclimate to the home environment after being on duty for so long. Lt. Brown knew right away, she wanted to participate in this challenge, to show support for her best friend.

Lt. Brown openly and proudly spoke of her involvement in this challenge, and a few of the adults in custody (AIC) also shared their willingness to do the challenge with her. Of course, she supported their involvement. Each day, they would check in with her and report their totals for the day until completion. They tracked each other’s progress daily and used a little smack talk to keep each other motivated (all in good humor, of course). At the end of the challenge, the most difficult part they discovered was to get a good, serious picture. Those who know Lt. Brown know it is entirely too difficult for her to maintain her composure for any length of time.

After the completion of this challenge, Lt. Brown made a commitment to the AICs to continue doing challenges, and not just for one individual foundation. This caught their attention; they are looking forward to participating in future challenges as well. Currently, there are more AICs that wish to be involved, including members of OSP’s Veteran’s Club, so the overall goal is to have at least 100 participants for the next challenge! Thank you, Lt. Brown, for your good work here, and for always going above and beyond.

AIC Follow-Up Comments:

“I just wanted to show my support as best I could. I ran 200 miles last year in the Veteran Suicide Awareness that was put on at OSP by the Veteran’s Club for the “Stop Soldier Suicide Foundation” for the same reason. I also have family members that were Veterans that I wish to show my support to as well. “
-Chase Bedford

“I dedicated my 2200 push-ups to my great grandfather who was a Bully Gunner in a B-24 (WWII); he was shot down over England while fighting Nazi’s. Also, for my grandfather, a Cobra Pilot in the Vietnam War and my father, an engineer on the U.S.S. New Orleans during the beginning of Desert Storm. Though I had many Veterans in my family to dedicate my push-ups to, I also understand the mental and emotional pain of trying to overcome the regret of taking a life. I will continue to try as hard as I can to bring awareness to the surviving heroes and what they have sacrificed.”
-Charles Lake

“The reason I wanted to be a part of the Mission 22 Challenge is simple; I come from a large military family. My great grandmother was a nurse in WWII, my uncle was a paratrooper in the Army, and my cousin was in the Navy. I wanted to join the Navy, but I was turned down due to having a criminal record. I am happy to bring awareness anyone who is suffering in the military community. I wish that I could be of more help. “
-Joshua Gibson

“The reason I participated in the Mission 22 2200 Push Up Challenge was because, well, I’ve been there: suicidal. Also, my brother is in the Navy, so I wanted to do something good to help support our Veterans.”
-David Savelieff

“I have a lot of family members that are service members and wanted to show my support for them.”
-Blake Sitton