Personal story behind #22Kill - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Personal story behind #22Kill

Jacob Schick shares his personal story behind 22 Kill/Source: KSLA News 12 Jacob Schick shares his personal story behind 22 Kill/Source: KSLA News 12
Schick shares his personal story of finding the strength to live with KSLA's Marie Waxel /Source: KSLA News 12 Schick shares his personal story of finding the strength to live with KSLA's Marie Waxel /Source: KSLA News 12
BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) -

A challenge going viral on social media has proven to be a way to raise awareness about the challenges veterans face.

However, there is much more to do when it comes to veteran suicide.

Bossier Native and Chief Executive Officer of the group 22 Kill shares his personal story behind the campaign. 

"It blew me through the top of the Humvee and I knew from the instant it started that it was not good, that it was bad," recalled Jacob Schick. 

In 2004, an IED forever changed his life. 

"My fingers were just blown off, my pinky was hanging down there," he said as he pointed to his scars on his left arm. 

His list of injuries also included having his right leg amputated below the knee, and every rib was broken.
 
His recovery included 46 operations and 18 months in the hospital and that wasn't the worst part.

"At the height of my addiction I played over and over again in my head, what would the benefits be if I just weren't here. It'd probably just be easier if I was gone, because I'm just gonna be a drain on my family and friends," said Schick.

He became dependent on pain meds and battled depression. 

"I was that guy, all I just wanted to do was stay in my dark room all day long and eat pills, and that's what I did," Schick explained, "That's no way to live."

With the help of his wife and the support of his family and friends, he has been clean for more than a decade.

"I don't do this alone. I couldn't do this, fight the fight that I fight. I'm surrounded by people every day that are better than me, and by default, I'm better," he said. 

The Marine now uses his struggles to help to convince his military brothers and sisters that this life is worth living. 

"Dying by suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem that leaves a very big wake in its path, and it affects people that you probably otherwise had no idea you were going to affect by not being alive."

22 Kill is a program dedicated to raising awareness of veteran suicide. 

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs' 2012 Suicide Data Report, an average of 22 veterans a day are affected. 

"There are people that suffer every day just like I suffer, or just like you, or just like your co-workers. The difference is, I want people to talk about it and stop making brain health out to be such a dirty thing or such a hush-hush thing."

Schick's mission, helping others find their strength to live. 

"I want to be better tomorrow than I was today," Schick continued, "It is OK to have bad days because those are the days where you learn, those are the days that take you to the next week when you hit everything out of the park. It's OK to fall down, just fall forward, you're still moving in the right direction."

Click here for veterans crisis line.

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