PITTSBURGH – Last year, two combat-wounded Veterans set off on a motorcycle journey across America interviewing Veterans, many of whom had contemplated or attempted suicide, researchers and healthcare providers. Their mission was to raise awareness of the high rate of suicide amongst Veterans and, more importantly, highlight the sources of hope that other Veterans had found.
The effort is called Project 22, painfully inspired by the recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimation that 22 veterans commit suicide every day.
Supported by fundraising efforts and the kindness of many, Dan and Doc were able to film a feature length, non-profit documentary that melds a motorcycle road-trip with a hard-hitting and inspirational documentary. The mission of the film is to bring awareness of veteran suicides and to educate veterans on methods to overcome symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in order to reduce veteran suicides and to make alternative therapies available to veterans with PTS and TBI.
The film has ties to Western New York and with Chautauqua County in particular. Theo Collins, an Associate Producer of the film, is a 2006 graduate of Jamestown High School, 2009 graduate of SUNY JCC, 2012 graduate of SUNY Fredonia, and native of Jamestown, N.Y.
In addition, Daniel Egbert (a main subject of the film) and Collins deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011 with India Co. of 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, a Marine Corps reserve unit in Buffalo. Both were close friends of, and were deployed with Aaron Swanson, a Lakewood, N.Y. native who lost his life in combat operations in Afghanistan on Feb. 7, 2011.
Those interviewed for the film include Pittsburgh Steelers legend, Rocky Bleier, himself a combat veteran whose story of recovery from combat injuries and later success in the NFL has inspired two generations.
Project 22 is scheduled for release Summer of 2014. Stay tuned for updates and visit medicinalmissions.com/donate to make a tax-deductible contribution to the film. Project 22 is a not-for-profit endeavor and all donations go directly to the costs of production and distribution.
More information on the film project can be found at www.medicinalmissions.com.