Drop and Give Me 20!


“Drop and give me 20!” 

When you were growing up, did you have a favorite number? One maybe that you liked so much as a kid that you asked for it year after year when playing your favorite sports? The one you listed first in hopes you would get it? Mine was 21. What was yours? 

We even have professional sports players who are synonymous with a specific number. That number defines them. Michael Jordan, 23. 

Seems for me, the number 20 lately has become important. My name is Dr. David Tharp, and I’m the founder and CEO of Project Healing Heroes. Why 20? 

  • First, 20 is the number of seconds that you get to catch people’s attention on a blog.

  • Second, 20 is the number of veterans that kill themselves EVERY SINGLE DAY!

  • Third, 20 is the number of minutes I get this week to speak to the rotary club about our mission to end suicide. 

Why am I speaking to a group of 20 leaders in our community? To get our message out there to those 20 veterans who may be sitting at home, feeling hopeless, wondering if there is any purpose or meaning or reason to go on living. 

Here is the truth:  suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Let that sink in for at least 20 seconds, because that may be all a person has to make a decision. Suicide is permanent when all else is temporary.

Ok, my 20 seconds are up, but I need your attention for just 20 more seconds. An intense 20 seconds that can change your life. You see, in a span of the most important 20 seconds of life, our nation’s heroes can experience the deepest and darkest well of depression. 20 seconds of when they cannot see even a glimpse of light due to a dark and evil world. 20 seconds of flashbacks of war and seeing the worst of humanity that will not let them rest. It is an unrelenting 20 seconds of a voice that tells them, “Go ahead, pick up the weapon and kill yourself. What are you waiting for, go ahead, do it, just do it. Your life is meaningless, you are worthless, there is nothing to live for. Just pull the trigger, end it all. You are a failure! See, you can’t even kill yourself.” And then BANG, a life taken in a mere 20 seconds. 

But what if hindsight was 20/20. What if I told you that there truly is hope, that there is a future, that there are answers. I entitled this blog “Drop and give me 20!”  Yes, for those of you who are at that difficult place in life, drop the weapon, and give me 20 seconds.

Project Healing Heroes was created by a group of men and women who have been there and done that. We have walked in your shoes, or in this case, your boots. And our boots are not limited to just combat. We are medics and EMTs, police, firefighters, surgeons and survivalists. We are the first responders – the first to say yes to our nation’s call, the first to raise our hand and say “I will go,” the first to respond to a 5am fire, the first to say, “Here I am, Lord, send me.” We are a unique breed because when danger is in front of us, we run toward it when most others run away.   

We have a saying at Project Healing Heroes:  We are in this fight together, and we will not leave you behind. 

It only takes 20 seconds to log on to ProjectHealingHeroes.org. It only takes 20 seconds to sign up for our free, lifesaving video series that can literally give you a hope and a future. Do me a favor:  drop and give me 20! Drop what you are doing, and give me 20 seconds to change your life or the life of someone you love.

Lt Col David Tharp, PsyD | Project Healing Heroes Founder & CEO

Geneva Moore