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Gym classes raise awareness for veterans suffering from mental illnesses

Kayleigh Padar

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This year, an aspect of supporting Tony Chobanov the 22 Push-up challenge. Gym classes are participating by filming videos of themselves doing 22 push-ups in a row. The significance behind the challenge is that 22 veterans die from suicide every day, and the hope is to bring awareness to the problem by doing a push-up for each one.

“I think the challenge is important because not many people realize the actual depth to the aftermath of PTSD the soldiers face once home. Sure, people understand the idea of PTSD but not many realize the true reality that the soldiers face with PTSD,” junior Catherine Spann said.

Since Chabanov is dealing with more mental injuries rather than physical injuries, a large part of the fundraising this year involves creating more awareness of the “invisible injuries” that soldiers return with. These injuries are often times as serious as the physical injuries that other soldiers might return with, and can be just as debilitating.

“I’ve known a number of people in the military and seen them come back some unscathed, others come back with physical injuries, and others come back with invisible injuries. The mental part seem likes where there’s a disconnect. So I think that bringing attention to it is a really good cause,” gym teacher Ken Ricker said.

Doing challenges like the 22 Pushup challenge can help students and the community further understand the real impact that war can have on an individual, even if they return other all their limbs.

Students can can participate in this challenge during their gym classes, or on their own, by filming themselves doing 22 push-ups and posting it online.

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The student news site of John Hersey High School
Gym classes raise awareness for veterans suffering from mental illnesses