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Camry Jones November 12, 2022

The Courter Center was packed Wednesday, the 9th with students, faculty and staff to raise awareness for the mental health of America’s veterans.

The “In My Boots” student club, aims to raise community awareness of the struggles that many American servicemen and women encounter after returning from combat. Every year, the club, advised by Sean Taylor, puts on multiple events to raise awareness for veterans and their mental health. This past week was the “22 push-ups event.”

For this event, students, staff, and faculty were to purchase a blue DMACC t-shirt ahead of time to wear on the day of the event. Wearing this shirt showed the unification of the people on campus and how they can come together to support a cause.

The event consisted of an army Major coming in and standing alongside Major Sean Taylor, facilitating the push-ups. At this time, those participating were to follow the Majors counts while doing the push-ups.

“Six years ago, we started the 22 push-up challenge. It was started by a DMACC student who is also a veteran. The significance of “22” is that 22 military members kill themselves every day in the United States, especially veterans,” Sean Taylor, former Army Reserve stated.

In the United States, suicide is at an all-time high among 16 to 24-year-olds, making it the leading cause of death, especially among white Americans. 

After completing the push-ups together, they held a competition to see who could do the most push-ups, in a minute, per gender. There were four women and six men that participated in the competition. 

In the spring, “In My Boots” spends a lot of time and hard work on their annual 5K Ruck Run event that honors all veterans and raises funds to support veterans in need. For this event, participants can either walk, run, or ruck. 

  “I joined the military, exactly 20 years ago, right after 911. I joined the Iowa National Guard, deploying with them in 2010 to Afghanistan, and came back and deployed again in 2015 with the Army Reserve, to Iraq,” Taylor stated, “Right after coming back from Afghanistan, in 2011, I struggled like a lot of people did and, and I was really helped out by a lot of different veteran organizations, so I wanted to give back myself.” 

This is when Taylor had spoken with the DMACC administration to work on the 5K and have it be an annual event. 

If any interest in supporting the veterans and being their advocate, please contact Sean Taylor to find out ways to contribute. 

Sean Taylor: