The first time Puyallup resident Danielle Haro saw the movie “Project 22,” a documentary following two veterans on a mission across the country to raise awareness about the high rate of suicide among veterans, she was a theater in Puyallup on Veterans Day, and by the end of the movie she knew how important its message was.
“Part of what I love about the film is that it’s definitely not a cookie cutter message about what veterans are doing to cope,” she said, adding that the film featured veterans partaking in art, sailing and even horseback riding after serving. “It really goes a long way, the testimony of other veterans.”
As a wife of a military veteran, the film had a big impact on both Haro and her husband, who served in the military for nearly 10 years and separated last year.
“I saw the impact (the film) had with my husband,” said Haro. “Some other team members at Rally Point 6 can attest to the impact it had on me and him.”
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Haro works with military veterans often as a senior scout at a Lakewood nonprofit called Rally Point 6 (RP/6), which helps veterans and their family members connect with resources and programs to help them on their paths after service.
“It’s a huge, life-altering time, getting out of the military,” she said.
We felt it was part of our mission to spread the word and message that the documentary had, especially after seeing the impact it had on our team.
Danielle Haro, senior scout at Rally Point 6
Months after seeing the movie for the first time, Haro got a second opportunity to see the movie with her RP/6 team members — this time at the Grand Cinema in Tacoma. She felt the same impact she felt the first time.
“We felt it was part of our mission to spread the word and message that the documentary had, especially after seeing the impact it had on our team,” she said.
Soon after, an RP/6 member called the team’s attention to an NPR article about the “Spartan sword,” a sword forged from the steel of the fallen World Trade Center.
The sword travels all over the country, bringing veterans together to make the “Spartan Pledge” and promise one another to not commit suicide.
“The Spartan sword flies across the country (and) is given all the honor and tribute as if it was a fallen tribute member,” Haro said. “It’s been to groups in the hundreds. We (spoke) recently with the creator of the Spartan Pledge, and to date they had not reported one person who has committed suicide after taking the pledge.”
The team at Rally Point 6 decided to combine the Spartan sword and “Project 22” movie into an event for local veterans. There will also be a resource fair that connects veterans with local resources and community groups, including the Puyallup VFW Post 2224.
“We do want to show some local options, some mental health resources, but also some recreational opportunities,” Haro said, adding that the purpose is for veterans to “surround themselves with an atmosphere of camaraderie” and create a network of support.
Haro says her husband plans to be at the event and will hopefully get the chance to make the pledge.
The Refuse to Lose event is scheduled for 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 22) at the Arts and Allied Health Building on the Pierce College Puyallup Campus on 1601 39th Ave SE.
Refuse to Lose
Refuse to Lose, hosted by Rally Point 6, will run from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 22) at the Arts and Allied Health Building at Pierce College Puyallup campus, 1601 39th Ave SE, Puyallup. The schedule is as follows:
▪ 2 p.m.: Doors open
▪ 2 to 2:45 p.m.: Resource fair
▪ 3 p.m.: Introduction and “Project 22” film screening
▪ 4:45 to 5:30 p.m.: Panel discussion
▪ 5:45 to 6 p.m.: Spartan sword pledging ceremony