22 miles and 22 pounds for veterans
GRAYLING, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Do you think you could run 22 miles wearing 22 pounds?
One Grayling Air Force Reserve member ran it on Wednesday to raise money for veterans.
According to some statistics, 22 veterans with post traumatic stress disorder commit suicide every day.
On a brisk snowbelt morning, Bill Berlin took off from downtown Grayling wearing a 22-pound vest and ran past Camp Grayling and back, completing 22 miles.
Berlin says the idea came to him about six weeks ago after the Las Vegas shooting, when he saw people taking to social media instead of taking action.
“’Your’re wrong because you support the 2nd Amendment,' and ‘You’re wrong because you want to take the guns away,'" Berlin said. "It just kind of got to the point of if you all spent more time doing something then just talking about it and worrying about who’s right, we could get a lot more done."
As a member of the Air Force Reserve and an ER nurse, Berlin has seen the effects of PTSD on the veteran community.
“Everybody in the military knows somebody who knows somebody," Berlin said. "I’ve had people I went to high school with who I haven't seen in 10 or 12 years message me out of the blue like ‘I appreciate what you’re doing, this means so much to me.”
Bill finished at Paddle Hard Brewing, which helped sponsor him.
They even brewed a beer for the cause called the "22 Miler."
“What we’re going to do is take the proceeds from the sale of that beer and donate them to Bill," said Dave Vargo, who owns Paddle Hard Brewing. "He’s going to donate it himself to the cause he’s running for."
The beer raised about $500 for the cause, Reining Liberty in Traverse City, which provides therapy to veterans through horse riding.
“It helps kind of build a sense of community and gives them a purpose again," Berlin said.
Bill Berlin has exceeded his goal of $1,000 on GoFundMe, but he can still take donations.
After Thanksgiving, Berlin will be leaving for some training with the Air Force Reserve.