Twenty-two U.S. soldiers commit suicide each day—a fact that led Jacob DiSabatino, a recent graduate of St. Mark’s High School, to create the 22in22 initiative. 22in22 encourages people to get out and move for 22 miles in 22 days.
“The main goal is to raise awareness,” DiSabatino says. “The topic of soldier suicide is kind of hush hush, but the problem is not going to get fixed unless we talk about it.” DiSabatino learned about the issue while working with a family firend, Brian Kinsella, CEO of the Stop Soldier Suicide foundation, then got to work on his own initiative. One result was VetFest, an outdoor benefit concert and fair held near Middletown in May. “It went extremely well,” DiSabatino says. “A lot of our community’s veterans were able to come out, and we were able to reach out to a lot of the community. It was an amazing opportunity to give hope and information.”
As DiSabatino starts college this month, he hopes to take 22in22 with him. He would like to build the initiative across the country. Having several friends that are soldiers and wanting to enlist himself, DiSabatino wants to do everything he can before, during and after he serves to get the word out about the epidemic of soldier suicide. Next up for 22in22 is a 5K run-walk at Delaware Technical Community College this fall.
To get involved, donate or learn more, visit www.22in22.info.