22 Veterans 22 miles 22 pounds 

Published 11:34 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Frank Hill and #FWD22 


COLUMBUS—Residents of Columbus may have become accustomed to seeing Frank Hill walking Peniel Road and downtown Columbus with headphones in his ears and a rucksack on his back. Hill served as a medic in Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the United States Army where he held the rank of Captain. Hill served in the Army for a total of ten years and was involved in two combat deployments.  

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Hill hikes the Appalachian Mountains and the surrounding areas carrying a rucksack with 22 pounds of weight in it along with a pair of headphones. Hill has made it his personal goal to hike 22 miles every week to help raise awareness for an issue that he holds near and dear. “22 American Veterans commit suicide daily. Nearly one every hour,” Hill said. “(The) 6 o’clock news bleeds word of warriors taking their lives in record numbers.” The 22 pounds that Hill carries in his rucksack represents the 22 veterans that take their lives daily, as well as his goal of hiking 22 miles per week. Hill said that even losing one veteran to suicide from PTSD is too many. The VA released information and statistics that showed that Army veterans made up 52% of the suicides from all branches.  

Hill has started raising money through pledges to go to The Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation. The Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation is an organization that focuses on finding the best tools and resources to enhance the mind, body, and spiritual wellbeing of active duty military personal, veterans, first responders and their family members. The Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation also works to raise awareness for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how it affects individuals and their families. Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation cleverly shares the same acronym PTSD and uses that as an outlet, for more information on the organization visit, https://www.ptsdfoundation.org/ 

Hill is taking pledges via an online website, https://pledgeit.org/fwd22 to raise money for The Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation. The site contains Hill’s personal pledge and statement in addition to a tracker that keeps up with his mileage.  

“I plan to ruck march 22 miles per week with 22 pounds of weight on my back to honor the 22 daily victims who have succumbed to PTSD,” Hill said. “I have logged 190 miles so far this year through the lush foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to the beat of mostly Pearl Jam.” 

By Samuel Robinson