LEEDS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A local man created a short film that illustrates the challenges many veterans face with mental health issues.
The film titled “22” was posted to YouTube on Saturday. It casts a real life Navy veteran, who portrays another veteran, struggling to find a sense of purpose, who feels alone, and who has hardly any support.
The film is only four minutes long, but that was all Anthony Lupoli needed to get the message across.
“It’s a very sad portrayal,” he said.
It portrays a veteran reliving terror from war with no one to lean on besides the only brother left in his life.
Lupoli was inspired to create the story when he was going through his own personal struggles.
“I wept thinking about this storyline and about a veteran who goes through that,” he said. “A lot of these men and women are alone.”
The film comes on the heels of a new social media challenge where people are doing 22 pushups for 22 days for reasons far beyond getting fit. The 22 Pushup Challenge is raising awareness that 22 veterans die from suicide every day.
“Twenty-two suicides a day,” Lupoli said. “To me that’s unbelievable.”
That’s why Lupoli wanted to put a face to the number 22. He hopes his short film will inspire others to do what they can to make a veteran feel empowered again.
“People need to give whatever they can and support them and love and honor and support all veterans,” he said.
Lupoli also encourages people to support local veteran organizations such as the Wounded Warrior Project and American Legion posts.