Organization soaks in water to raise suicide awareness


Pvt. Nick Tilton, a Missouri Southern freshman psychology major, leads veterans and volunteers in the Veterans Challenge held Sept. 22 on the Oval. This challenge consisted of veterans and volunteers doing 22 pushups while the Joplin Fire Department sprayed cold water over them in order to raise awareness about the 22 veterans that commit suicide every day in the United States.

In an attempt to raise awareness for the number of suicides among veterans, Missouri Southern’s Student Veterans Organization (SVO) hosted a Veterans Challenge Sept. 22 on the Oval.

Created as part of a joint effort that partnered SVO with Peterson Outdoor Ministries and Amvet, the challenge featured SVO members as well as members from the Show-Me Gold officer training program and general volunteers from the campus and community as they did 22 pushups to honor the average number of veterans that commit suicide every day in the United States. To increase the difficulty of the challenge, members of the Joplin Fire Department were called in to hose down participants as they attempted to complete the task.

The event began with guest speaker Anthony Norris, a veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts and a counselor with the Veterans Administration office in Mount Vernon, as well as State Rep. Charlie Davis and members of the Patriot Guard Riders.

Don Sheets, Southern student, veteran and junior education major, participated in Monday’s Veterans Challenge to honor those veterans that have taken their lives after coming home from battle.

“I hope that today helps raise awareness to the veterans dealing with these issues,” said Sheets, who served over 30 years in the United States Navy.