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"22 Jumps" raises awareness for veteran suicide

Posted at 6:16 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 20:16:18-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Three base jumpers will jump off of Perrine Memorial Bridge 22 times on May 28 to bring awareness to veteran mental health.

The 22 jumps represent the 22 lives that are claimed by veteran suicide everyday in the U.S. Veteran suicides make up close to 14% of total Suicides in America.

Prior to the event on May 27 there will be a metal health speaker series at Blue Lakes country club featuring three medical experts.

Tristan Wimmer is the CEO and founder of 22 Jumps and started this organization to bring light to a situation that affected his family.

“I was looking for a way to honor my brother through base jumping and I became much more aware following his death of the rate of veteran suicide in this country,” he said.

Wimmer's brother took his own life in 2015 after suffering from traumatic brain injuries after serving in Iraq. The Magic Valley holds a special place to Wimmer and his late brother.

“I learned how to base jump in Twin Falls, My brother learned how to base jump in Twin Falls and it’s a part of the country that holds very special place for us,” he said.

Nick Cliché is a member of the Air Force and one of the base jumpers conquering this task on May 28. He was interested in the organization after seeing different social media awareness challenges.

"There's a lot of challenges like the 22 push ups challenge, 22 pull up challenges, but this one was incorporating base-jumping which I was extremely passionate about and still am extremely passionate about,” he said.

Wimmer hopes to see more awareness spread on veteran mental health and chose this particular sport to highlight veteran suicide because of the similarities in reliance on one another.

“I think there is a direct comparison to the process of being able to do a base jump and the process of being able to navigate through the dark times in your life. You need people, you need tried and true systems, you need tried and true professionals, and you need to put in the time,” he said.

For more information on 22 Jump and how to support them, click here.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a crisis, suicidal thoughts, or is struggling with mental health, call the Idaho Crisis & Suicide Hotline (800) 273-8255.

Related: Idaho Suicide Prevention Hotline announces new name, mission remains the same