Veteran Suicide Prevention Organization planning events in Manistee County

MANISTEE COUNTY – A Northern Michigan veterans organization is coming soon to the Manistee River Trail.

A hike on the Manistee River Trail was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, but the 22 2 None event has been postponed until late June, according to council member Andre Aquino.

The event is expected to include a hike with food and event supplies, which would be facilitated by donations and fundraising from 22 2 none.

The 22 2 none organization is dedicated to trying to prevent veterans and active duty military personnel from dying by suicide.

Aquino said, “We do all of our volunteer time to reach as many vets as possible,” but said the event is run entirely by volunteers and all board members have full-time jobs. outside the organization.

The Manistee Trail race event was postponed due to scheduling conflicts with board members, and Aquino was injured during an outdoor activity.

suicide prevention

Aquino works as a full-time critical care nurse at Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital and is the nonprofit’s newest board member.

He also told the News Advocate about the organization’s 6-year history and its purpose as a suicide awareness group for veterans and active duty military.

“22 2 None is based in South Boardman in the old elementary school,” Aquino said in an email. “Our organization is dedicated to the men and women of the armed forces. We raise awareness and work to prevent the devastating epidemic of suicide.

Aquino explained how the organization got its name.

“More than 22 veterans, active members and reservists succumb to their inner struggle every day. Our mission is to bring those numbers down to ‘none,'” he said in the email. “We are helping area veterans and their families with whatever we can. We provide services in the form of donations of funds, devices and local resources to ease the tensions they experience in order to avoid thoughts and behaviors that could make their final decision irreversible.

Originally, Aquino was approached by board members to lead an outdoor and nature-based program to bring veterans to experiences and opportunities in the outdoors in the area. .

He is also the 22 2 None Veterans Outdoor Program Coordinator and one of his projects includes hiking or hiking the Manistee River Trail.

“My vision for the 22 2 None’s Veterans Outdoor Venture program is to ensure veterans interested in outdoor pursuits in Michigan benefit from the comfort and respite care that our trips and events provide,” a- he declared. “Whether it’s fishing, hunting, camping, wildlife and nature viewing, our team of volunteers and board members are passionate about the role we take in helping those that we can.”

The organization consists of seven board members from Northern Michigan.

Other services

The organization purchased a former primary school in South Boardman. In addition to events for veterans, the organization also offers more services.

“We are also helping veterans in the area with funds for housing. At South Boardman at the head office, we are creating a duplex for transitional housing,” Aquino said.

Belay My Last Barracks is the transitional housing project that began with the purchase of the old primary school building in July 2020.

On 22 2 None website says that “The barracks will not only serve as transitional housing and a community outreach center for veterans and their families, but also as a place for new beginnings.”

He said the organization has also collected household appliances, so it has a surplus for members to replace something in case it breaks.

Another event organized by the organization is the Drew Kostic Memorial 5K Challenging Race at Twisted Trails Off-Road Park in Copemish.

According to a website for the event, “The DK5K is a 5k obstacle course that aims to raise awareness of veteran suicide. Funds raised support our transitional housing project: Belay My Last Barracks, the Drew Scholarship Kostic for veterans at Northern Michigan College and the day-to-day needs we are meeting on an ongoing basis for our local veterans.”

In the organization’s five-year plan, it is stated that the group wants to create a more extensive outdoor activity program that would include activities such as kayaking, fishing and hiking, as well as other outdoor activities. air, according to Aquino.

More information about 22 2 None can be found on its website,

Aubrey L. Morgan