A special workout took place on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Wednesday in an effort to raise awareness for suicide and depression. On average, 22 of our nation’s veterans take their own lives every day, according to Active Heroes.

This workout, organized by 907 Crossfit, aims to get people together and put the issue out in the open.

“We’re all here today because we care about out battle buddies,” says head coach Mark Nieto. “Some of us have been touched by veteran suicide, some of us have dealt with it, and we’re here to show them that you’re not alone.”

The workout involves 11 different routines of 22 reps each.

Wendy Funches did all 22 reps, and then one more – for her brother, Joey O’Toole, who served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years before he took his own life.

“His depression started soon after he got out of the military, it was just kind of a spiraling effect of depression,” she explained. “I’m not sure why, but I do know we can do stuff to help.”

They hope that by opening up the conversation, and reaching out to a friend who might be struggling, they can save lives.

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of self-harm, get help: call the Alaska Careline at 1-877-266-HELP (4357).

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