Las Vegas Sun

November 14, 2018

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FINDLAY GOOD WORKS:

22 Warriors Foundation a resource for veterans and first responders

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Wade Vandervort

22 Warriors Foundation Chairman Bill Emmel, left, his service dog Ranger and Vice Chairman Dave Austin in their office. 22 Warriors Foundation is a veteran-founded, -operated and -governed nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating veteran suicides.

Bill Emmel, 22 Warriors Foundation

• Title: Executive Director

• Agency address: 112 S. Water St., Suite 106, Henderson, NV 89015

• Agency phone number: 702-906-2073

• Agency website: 22warriors.org wspfoundation.org

• Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (office); 24/7 year-round by phone, email or social media

What is Findlay Good Works?

Good Works is a twice-monthly series in Las Vegas Weekly in which we highlight the efforts of nonprofit groups that are making a difference in our community. You can check out the good work of more organizations by visiting facebook.com/FindlayAutoGroup.

When and why was it established? A 2011 survey reported that 22 veterans commit suicide daily—this is where the name 22 Warriors Foundation came from—however the number is wrong and extremely low. This survey only included 21 states—California was not one of them—and it did not include alcohol and drug overdose deaths, homeless and unidentified veterans who commit suicide, less-than-honorably discharged veterans and older generations. In 2016, 22 Warriors Foundation was established because the founder and executive director, Bill Emmel was tired of losing soldiers, friends and fellow service members to suicide, an act he came close to committing himself. Emmel and his wife, Carrie, along with Dave Austin, director of operations, and Jeremiah Johnson, board vice chairman, established 22 Warriors Foundation to take action to eliminate veteran suicide.

Who are its clients today? Veterans, first responders and their family members.

What are its initiatives or goals? The current goal is to provide as much assistance, guidance and referral services as possible to those in crisis or on the verge of crisis. This can be through our service dog grants, emergency financial assistance, Veterans Affairs education, Adopt a Veteran’s Smile (AAVS) dental program, Brain Health Warriors neuro-feedback treatment, assistance with Veterans Affairs claims, and any other way we can help.

What can people do to get involved? Anyone interested in getting involved can reach us through our website or through our social media Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

What can Southern Nevadans do to improve our community in general? Southern Nevadans can find a cause that resonates with them, reach out to organizations that are active in that cause, and volunteer or donate.

It is important to do your research to ensure the organization is legal and operating in an ethical manner. There are several organizations that use the veteran and first responders tags to make money in practices.

Where do you see your organization in five years? We see 22 Warriors Foundation as a leader in the Las Vegas veteran and first responder communities, providing a wide range of services and assistance that has established a blue print for other communities to follow. This will be accomplished through solidifying and expanding current programs while always looking for additional services that can be provided and/or organizations that can be partnered with.

Anything else you want to tell us? 22 Warriors Foundation has a “2nd Tuesday” veteran and local business mixer from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. every second Tuesday of the month at the Las Vegas Distillery in Henderson to encourage veterans, veteran organizations and local businesses to attend and mingle. We have also partnered with Mark Gorodetzer and Smoke on Water BBQ Championship, which will be at the Events Plaza in Henderson October 5-6. It will be a sanctioned Kansas City BBQ Society event. Several teams from all throughout the country will compete for prize money, and proceeds from this event will be donated to 22 Warriors Foundation.

This story originally appeared in the Las Vegas Weekly.