Pleasanton's State Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) recently wrapped up an exercise challenge in which he did 22 pushups per day to raise awareness about the suicide rate among military veterans and to emphasize the importance of supporting veterans' continued mental and physical health.
The first-term state senator completed the pushups daily over 22 days in the State Capitol and various locations across his district, with the total symbolizing the statistic that 22 American veterans, on average, die by suicide every day.
"It was a challenge physically, but it also gave me the chance to visit with veterans and veteran service organization leaders to learn about the challenges facing our service men and women," Glazer said in an email interview.
"During the 22 days, I visited memorial halls, VFW halls, grave sites and everything in between, and in every one of those places, I met amazing veterans," he added.
The campaign kicked off in late June, when Glazer and 10 colleagues did 22 pushups on the State Senate floor.
During the challenge, other elected officials joined Glazer for pushups, including Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley (Day 2), Contra Costa County DA Mark Peterson (Day 16), Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern (Day 15) and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon (Day 8).
Glazer completed the pushup challenge last month at Las Positas College in Livermore during its "Operation Gateway 8" event, which provided new veterans with information and resources such as academic planning, college registration, readjustment services, college resources and post 9/11 G.I. benefits.
At the end of the campaign, he encouraged others to take the challenge and find other ways to support American military veterans.
"If you have a business, hire a veteran. If you volunteer your time, look to help veterans. And if you're like me and want to raise awareness of veteran suicide, then take the 22-day challenge. We owe our veterans so much," Glazer said.