In 2012, the US Department of Veteran’s Affairs estimated that an average of 22 veterans committed suicide every day. Recent estimates place that number closer to 20 a day, and while that represents a decline, it is still 20 too many.
The -22- project is something I was invited to participate in as a photographer, specifically to help create a series of photos representing the struggle that many veterans face after returning from the battlefield. The ultimate message of the project is two-fold: to remind combat veterans to do a commo check and call a brother, and to bring greater awareness to the public at large of a legitimate social crisis while giving family and friends an intimate look at the kinds of battles their Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines may be fighting even after coming home.
I’ve made this “Valkyrie” (or Norse female warrior) t-shirt design available on Teespring.
(The mock up above is different in scale than the actual shirt, due to print limitations, but I like the Teespring link better.)
The text on the back is a bit of verse from Darraðarljoð, or the Weaving Song of the Valkyries, and reads:
“Now Warwinner walketh
To weave in her turn,
Now Swordswinger steppeth,
Now Swiftstroke, now Storm;
When they speed the shuttle
How spearheads shall flash!
Shields crash, and helmgnawer
On harness bite hard!”