Every day at 3 p.m., veterans housed at the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center honor the lives of veterans who died by suicide and do 22 pushups.
“It commemorates the brother and sisters that we lost, and we try to make it not just a routine thing,” said Jarred Trinkle, a current inmate of the jail.
According to a Department of Veteran Affairs study, approximately 22 veterans die by suicide every day.
“We all do pushups together,” Deputy Todd Hauck said. “The inmates do it, I do it with them, and command staff will come and do it.”
The pushup challenge is exclusive to the jail’s Veteran Ward, which is only available to qualifying service members.
“We have special programs for these guys that they don’t offer in any other place in the facility or in parts of the country,” Hauck said.
To them, this ward is a brotherhood that can’t be matched, and together they are working to not only raise awareness, but to build stronger relationships.
“We took that oath in being a service member, and it’s a reminder that even though we lost our way, there’s a path that we were once on, and we are trying to get back on,” Trinkle said.