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The Founders of Mission 22

Picture of Giraffe The Founders of Mission 22

The founders of Mission 22 are telling the world that an average of 22 U.S. veterans take their own lives every day. That’s more military deaths at home than abroad. With Mission 22, these vets have gone past their own need to heal from combat experiences to help their fellow vets stay alive. 

Brad Hubbard was an infantryman in the Indiana National Guard who was deployed to Iraq in 2003-2004. 

Magnus Johnson, a former Green Beret, completed two combat tours in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, specializing in disarming Improvised Explosive Devices. 

Mike Kissel, another Green Beret, is still serving in the National Guard, maintaining base security and training foreign troops. 

They’ve gone above and beyond their own dealing with trauma to speak out again and again for their fellow vets. 

Mission 22 facilitates many programs to help veterans, working on their own and in tandem with other organizations. Warrior Integration Now (WIN) helps combat veterans deal with trauma. USA Cares gives military families financial support. The All Secure Foundation gathers donations to fund scholarships for veterans. SmartDollar offers personal financial counseling to help veterans and their spouses deal with debts. The Mission Continues provides fellowships to veterans so they can work for local nonprofits for six months. Service Platoons are teams of veterans and community members who band together in order to solve specific local challenges. And Mission 22 Ambassadors is a way for anyone to become directly involved by creating events and advocating for local veterans. 

Mission 22 gives veterans options and alternatives to standard PTS and TBI treatment. "What we're saying is, no treatment fits all and no treatment is affordable for all.” 

As part of their efforts to make the suicides of veterans known, Mission 22 has sponsored a public service campaign of photos taken by a veteran combat photographer of the places where vets have committed suicide, familiar places—living rooms, backyards, garages. The campaign aims to show people that there could be a vet in crisis nearby, and to show them how common these suicides are. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder is very real, as those 22 suicides a day prove. One vet who speaks at Mission 22 events is a former U.S. Army National Guardsman who was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan; he was injured and hospitalized. “We don’t get to put that stuff in our duffel bags and leave it there,” he says. “It comes home with us. You can’t turn it off.”