We Are The 22

We Are The 22 will be hosting their second annual Bass Tournament on Lake Ouachita on July 16 to raise money to help in the fight against veteran suicides in Arkansas. A guaranteed payout of $1,500 will go to the first-place team, with the remaining payout to be based on the number of participants.

We Are The 22 is a nonprofit organization focused on suicide intervention among former military servicemen and women. It was established in 2017 by Arkansas Army vet Mikel Brooks, who is dedicated to serving veterans who are dealing with suicidal thoughts and depression stemming from their military experience.

The name of the organization is derived from the number of veterans who were committing suicide every day in America back in 2017, when Brooks was in the midst of his own mental crisis.

Brooks had his bout with depression and thoughts of suicide after years of battle action led him to being forced to retire from the Army in 2009. He found himself at the end of his rope and without a lot of support or understanding during his time of need.

Brooks dealt with drug addiction, homelessness and severe depression in the years following his military retirement, and after experiencing extreme mental anguish in 2017, he reached out to a veteran hotline out of Oregon.

The woman on the other end of the line didn’t have any knowledge of local sources of assistance, and after Brooks made it through that emotional crisis and came out on the other side, he decided to form the We Are The 22 group to offer help to others like him around the Natural State.

To date, We Are The 22 has assisted in saving over 428 veterans who were in suicidal crisis, according to the entry form related to the fishing tournament.

The July 16 event will pair veterans with professional fishers, and teams will take off at sunrise to claim the top prize. Proceeds from the event, minus the prize payouts, will assist the organization in providing immediate and relevant intervention to veterans who need it.

For more information about the Bass Tournament or the We Are The 22 mission, please visit their Facebook page @wearethe22 or call 855-932-7384. You can donate to the organization online at https://wearethe22.org/donation/make-a-gift-today-to-support-our-fight-against-veteran-suicide/.

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