Bravo! The Project - A Documentary Film

Documentary Film,Other Musings,Veterans

September 9, 2016

The Pushup Challenge

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Recently, I was called out by my friend, Dr. Brian Meyer, to participate in the twenty-two day, twenty-two pushup per day challenge.

The challenge began in the United Kingdom as a way to bring attention to the number of daily suicides among combat veterans. According to some sources, the number of daily suicides is twenty-two. To other sources, the figure is twenty and if you Google the subject, you get a variety of numbers. But in my opinion, one suicide per day is one too many.

Dr. Meyer is a clinical psychologist at the VA facility in Richmond, Virginia, and a man who has spent his career studying and trying to help veterans deal with their mental health matters. In his challenge to me and a number of other folks, he has expanded the pushup test beyond suicide awareness to include recognizing PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, substance abuse, and survivor’s guilt, among a number of other mental health issues of combat vets.

Left to Right: Dr. Brian Meyer, Ken Rodgers, Betty Rodgers. Photo courtesy of Anne Jackson.

Left to Right: Dr. Brian Meyer, Ken Rodgers, Betty Rodgers. Photo courtesy of Anne Jackson.

Dr. Meyer, in his daily Facebook posts, besides doing his pushups, talks at some length about the mental health concerns at hand and also provides links to a number of resources on the different categories of mental health issues.

Besides treating combat vets’ mental health problems, Dr. Meyer travels extensively, apprising and educating interested folks about the various concerns he has about veterans’ mental wellbeing. You can find out more about him and his challenge to all of us to pay more attention to the mental health issues endemic in our veteran population here: Each one of his daily videos is a wealth of information and resources.

Author Ken Rodgers at Khe Sanh. Photo courtesy of Michael O'Hara.

Author Ken Rodgers at Khe Sanh. Photo courtesy of Michael O’Hara.

Going a bit further, I would like to pass on the challenge to you, if you are able, to jump in and do some pushups for the cause and if you can’t do pushups, please help spread the message in some other way. Many veterans are homeless. Many are refugees from broken family situations that have arisen chiefly due to the veterans’ mental health epidemic. Many are lost in the jungle of substance abuse. Many are killing themselves.

So, let’s get involved in helping to spread awareness to all America about this alarming problem so together we may find some answers.

I am on Day Eighteen of the challenge and you can get an idea of what I’m doing by going to If you decide to participate and do so online, be sure to use the hashtag #22PushupChallenge.

One other benefit: Besides bringing awareness to veterans’ mental health maladies, this challenge is a great opportunity to get in better shape. Ooorah!

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