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Push-ups for suicide awareness

Cadets at Georgia Military College honoring the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day by taking the 22 Pushup Challenge

A trend is spreading like wildfire on social media right now.

People all around the United States are dropping to the floor to do 22 push-ups for a good cause.

Reporter Evan Watson from our sister station WGXA in Macon, Georgia explains the push-ups are to spread awareness about something serious affecting our veterans.

Three hundred students doing 22 push-ups each.

The growing social media trend came to Georgia Military College Wednesday where prep school cadets honored the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day.

Leben says the challenge has a special significance for the cadets who are surrounded by veterans and military members.

Lieutenant Colonel Megan Leben said, "It might be a small sacrifice for about thirty seconds but i know it doesn't compare anything to the sacrifices that our veterans have paid, and it's important to raise this awareness to those who have paid the ultimate price."

Leben says the challenge has a special significance for the cadets who are surrounded by veterans and military members. “I think that being so close to veterans, it kind of hits home because we don't want to see them go through that; we don't want anybody to go through that."

When asked about the 22 veterans who commit suicide a day, Nikolas Urias found it tough to swallow. “I'm at a loss for words because to know or have recognized someone that went through that, it just... I can't answer that," said Urias.

The high suicide rate is often attributed to post traumatic stress disorder and the emotional trauma of war. Some studies show nearly 20% of suicides in America are committed by veterans. “If it's enough to make some people commit suicide, it’s obviously a real problem that we need to pay attention to," said "Lt. Col. Leben.

The 22 Pushup Challenge is going viral on social media and it's easy for people to participate in their own home.

That's what Patrick McConnell is doing with his son. "He's the one that he motivates me every day. After a long day it's not the first thing on my mind but every day he comes in and says, ‘Hey, dad, let’s go push them out,’ so it’s been great something for us to do together."

The challenge is supposed to last 22 days, raising awareness about an issue that, for many, hits close to home.

The group who started the movement, 22KILL.com, is aiming for a national goal of 22 million push-ups. At last check, they're already up to 17 million.

You can participate in the 22 Pushup Challenge by creating a video of you doing the push-ups and posting it to your Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and/or Instagram with a challenge for others to do the same. Include the hashtag "#22pushups for #22KILL".

Click here for full instructions.



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