News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Vikings HOF Member Chris Doleman Remembering the 22

remember-22-top.jpg

There are 22 players on the field for every NFL snap.

Chris Doleman was one for 15 seasons from 1985 to 1999, racking up impressive stats. Doleman led the league with 21 sacks in 1989 and finished his career with 150.5 (fourth-most all-time).

Doleman, however, has become aware of a more staggering stat: 22 United States veterans commit suicide each day.

"Our military makes up seven percent of our population, but they're 20 percent of our suicide rate," Doleman said. "It's really hard to fathom. We're losing 22 every day, so before the sun sets on this country, there will be 22 more veterans taking their lives."

Doleman was alerted to the alarming number in this report by the Department of Veterans Affairs while on a trip to Ireland to support vets. He is partnering through this foundation, Dolemanity.com, with Warriors for Freedom on the "Remembering the 22 Challenge."

The challenge asks people to take a selfie that incorporates the number 22 in the picture, post it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #Rememberingthe22, donate $22 or more and share with family and friends.

Doleman said veterans need help with two types of wounds.

"One are the physical wounds where you can easily identify and say he lost a leg, which is traumatic in its own right," Doleman said. "The other thing is the psychological wounds: PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), with brain traumas, and you see guys where they've had major surgeries where they've had to put their heads together. There's guys who talk about suicide, and not in the sense where it's a casual thing, but talk about it as, 'I don't have any more options.'

"It's an awful epidemic, something we really need to help, and I'm honored that the Vikings are standing up for this," Doleman added. "Let's not only bring our troops home, let's bring them home and get them some help."

Veterans 50 or older accounted for 69.3 percent of the suicides in the VA report.

Doleman said that more than 300,000 soldiers have been diagnosed with PTSD.

"This is something near and dear to my heart," Doleman said. "It's very personal, and I want to be that guy that can generate this groundswell, that people can pledge $22, take a selfie, go on the screen where you can be with all the other celebrities that are supporting this cause. I don't want to see another year of these vets taking their lives because of a lack of services.

Doleman has received help from other Pro Football Hall of Famers Mel Blount, Emmitt Smith and Thurman Thomas, and Baseball Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, in joining the effort with selfies and donations.

The money, Doleman said, is used to provide support activities and link veterans with peers who understand what soldiers went through in duty and what they're going through now. He said physical activity and social trips are helpful.

"When you're physically active, you're more apt to open up," Doleman said. "It can be fishing, hunting, going to ball games, getting them engaged back in society. Now, we can talk about getting you help. When they come out of their final physical inspection, everybody says, 'I'm fine,' well, obviously, you're not fine if there's 22 dying a day."

About Dolemanity

Doleman founded Dolemanity.com in 2010. The organization encourages philanthropy for non-profit organizations through micro-donations. When a donation occurs, the donor is entered into a sweepstakes for golf outings with famous pros, concerts with rock stars or other unique experiences. 

"I'm a true believer that you're judged by what you give, not by what you receive," Doleman said. "I want it to be known that Vikings go on to do greater things after they've been inducted to the Hall of Fame, after their careers are over, and they're able to help and become that team that just puts out guys who impact the world that use their cel

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising