November 5th: 22 Too Many - A 5K Walk/Run Dedicated to Local Soldier Who Committed Suicide
88.7FM The Pulse Event Raises Awareness that Approximately 22 Veterans Commit Suicide Every Day
Desert Car Care of Chandler Donates Vehicle for Raffle to Raise Funds for Vets
CONTACT: SHERRY BUTLER
Sherry L. Butler Communications
October 28, 2016 (Mesa, AZ) 88.7FM The Pulse Radio and The East Valley Institute of Technology announces its first 22 Too Many 5K Walk and Run on November 5, 2016. The event was created by EVIT’s 88.7FM The Pulse’s business and marketing director, whose best friend’s husband, Antouine Castaneda, an Army Ranger, committed suicide in July of 2015. A portion of the proceeds will be donated directly to the national nonprofit, 22 Too Many. The event is at the EVIT campus at 1601 W Main St, Mesa, 85201. Registration and more information visit http://pulseradio.fm/22TooMany or call (480) 461-4157.
The wife of a soldier and marketing director for 88.7FM The Pulse Radio at EVIT, Emily Aiton, knew Antouine Castaneda for 12 years and was the maid-of-honor at his wedding. He was larger than life, making friends everywhere he went. Antouine was trained as an Army Ranger, even part of former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s security team in Afghanistan. He went back and forth to Iraq and Afghanistan for multiple tours, only coming home for a month at a time.
While serving as a Blackwater agent after his successful army tours, he was in a bad accident that took him from his security career. That is when his mental health plummeted, and Emily feels that Antouine died then before he physically died in July 2015.
He was yet another veteran who attempted to get help at the VA Hospital in Phoenix and was shuffled around with no results. One night Emily, her husband, Antouine and his wife, were out at a restaurant and Antouine said he was going to the bathroom only to then disappear and be found walking down the road insisting he was “doing recon.”
“I was frustrated and angry that this kept happening to our veterans when they came home, especially with my husband being a Marine and most of our friends and family having served,” states Emily. “There was a story that aired on KTVK Channel 3 that was the inspiration for this event. http://bit.ly/2f060F0. After seeing this, 22 Too Many reached out to Antouine’s wife Sharon, to help her and their daughters. They were the nonprofit I wanted to align with.”
Event producers encourage those who register for the event, to bring photos of their loved one to wear on the back of their shirts to honor their memories. There will be photos of Antouine Castaneda that people can wear, and 22 Too Many will be bringing photos of soldier’s who have taken their lives and whom they have received permission from families to promote.
Every day, approximately 22 veterans take their own lives, many because of traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress (PTS), and the negative stigma in the military community around seeking help. Veterans don’t suffer alone; the families suffer long after their loved one is gone.
The nonprofit, 22 Too Many, are committed to increasing public knowledge and awareness of PTS, honoring the memory of the fallen who have been lost to a PTS related cause, as well as providing comfort and support to their mourning families.
This event starts and finishes at the East Valley Institute of Technology featuring a 5K distance for walkers and runners. The 5K Run will be chip-timed by Startline Racing and all participants will receive a custom event shirt. Desert Car Care of Chandler has donated a mechanically restored 2003 Buick Rendezvous to be raffled off. Raffle tickets are being sold for $10 each or 3 for $25. It is a kid-friendly and dog-friendly event.
Saturday, November 5
7:00 AM Race Day Registration and packet pick-up opens
8:00 AM 5K Run/Walk Begins
9:15 AM Award Ceremony
The 5K course is three laps around the EVIT campus.
East Valley Institute of Technology, 1601 W Main St, Mesa, AZ 85201
Adult Walkers and Runners: $25 registration fee includes an official t-shirt. Registration fee is $30 on the day of the event. Registration and more information are online at http://pulseradio.fm
East Valley Institute of Technology
The East Valley Institute of Technology is a model for career and technical education by the U.S. Department of Education. EVIT adds to a student’s academic instruction with hands-on learning provided by experienced professionals and excellent resources. Students earn elective credit in more than 40 occupation-specific programs, and programs are tuition-free to high school students who live in 10 East Valley school districts. Students, including charter school and home-schooled students, spend half their day at EVIT and the other half at their sending high school or home school. EVIT also offers classes for adults. www.evit.com.
22 TOO MANY
Keri Jacobs and Danya Harrison, co-founders of the nonprofit, 22 Too Many, are marathon runners and began running for soldiers who took their lives due to PTSD. They began running with the photos of the fallen servicemen/woman on their backs to honor them, after receiving permission from the family and encourage others to run in events and do the same. Any medals won are sent back to the grieving family to show respect for their service. Through various events, they seek to serve as a living memorial, reduce the stigma by increasing public knowledge and awareness of PTS, share helpful resources, and provide support and comfort to the grieving families left behind. www.22toomany.com
Additional resources: Veterans Crisis Line for veterans suffering from PTSD and their loved ones: Call 1-800-273-8255 and Veterans Press 1, chat online.