CCC 'pushes' to raise awareness about veteran suicides


CCC students and staff participate in the "22 Pushup Challenge for Our Veterans" to raise awareness about veteran suicides.


Flagstaff, Ariz. - Their faces determined, their goal was clear: 2,200 pushups in one hour.


The reason: Raise awareness about the grim statistic that 22 United States veterans, including generals, commit suicide every day.


On Tuesday, Nov. 6, more than 20 students and staff at Coconino Community College participated in the “22 Pushup Challenge for Our Veterans.” The event was organized by the Associated Student Body at CCC.


Neil Gallegos, ASB President, said that the participants had the goal of pumping out 22 pushups every minute for an hour. At least one participant had to fulfill the goal each minute. In actuality, several participants would “push” out 22 each minute – one pushup symbolizing a veteran death by suicide.


The event was started off by a presentation by the Coconino High School Color Guard and a singing of the National Anthem.


ASB members Michael Walbridge and Brianna Monell, as well as other students, filled in to knock out 22 when volunteers needed a breather. The atmosphere was supportive and participants couldn’t wait to jump back into the challenge after a few minutes of rest.


Walbridge, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said, “It makes me proud to be a student here at CCC. It just lets me know veterans aren’t discarded.”


He added that he appreciated seeing CCC staff members join the challenge and show their support.


Gallegos said that the ASB, which had been dormant at CCC for some time, is now active and ready to organize more events like the “22 Pushup Challenge.” The ASB, a student-government organization, has a desire to increase student engagement on the CCC campuses. The purpose is to create a sense of community among CCC students in order to create an “experience" for alums to look back on fondly.


By 11:58 a.m., the participants in the challenge had logged 2,070 pushups. In a last-minute effort, a dozen participants pushed out all they could in the last remaining minute to bring the grand total to 2,311.


Nick Tullio, CCC student and USMC veteran, said, “It feels great. I’ve lost too many friends, and anything we can do to help prevent that from happening is beneficial.”


For more information about the ASB, or to get involved, visit, or contact ASB President Neil Gallegos at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Tuesday, 6th November 2018

All Dates

  • Tuesday, 6th November 2018