PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Another movie crew has set up shop in the Pittsburgh area, but this one’s a little different.
They call themselves “Project 22,” and today, they arrived in Pittsburgh for a two-day filming blitz.
Project 22 was started by USMC Sgt. Daniel Egbert and U.S. Army Sgt. Matt King. Egbert served as a combat veteran in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and King served as a medic in Ramadi, Iraq.
They are traveling across the country, from Los Angeles to Ground Zero in New York, on a 22-day filming mission, making a documentary about suicides among veterans.
They got the name “Project 22” from a 2012 study released by the Veterans Administration. The study revealed at least 8,000 veterans are thought to die by suicide each year, a toll of about 22 per day. The VA acknowledges that number may be even higher, because the study was compiled from incomplete data from only 21 states.
Former USMC Sgt., now Duquesne University law student, Theo Collins, served in Afghanistan with one of the filmmakers. He tells KDKA Pittsburgh was not an original stop on the journey, but he convinced the crew to film here.
“A few members of the team stopped in Pittsburgh, I’m good friends with one of the lead filmmakers on the project, and I told him about all the fantastic services and programs that are happening in Pittsburgh for outreach to veterans,” Collins said.
While in Pittsburgh, the crew plans to interview former Steeler Rocky Bleier, who most recently helped raise money for the permanent memorial to Flight 93.
Over their 22-day journey, the crew will also interview veterans and their families, leading researchers in the fields of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as veterans’ healthcare experts.
Project 22 hopes to release its documentary sometime early next year.
To learn more about the group or donate money to their mission, here’s a link to their website. http://project22vets.com/