Daniel Egbert and Doc King served their country in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now they’re saving lives back home. In the conclusion of our two-part series on Project 22, we find out what’s next for these veterans.
In our first story on veterans Daniel Egbert and Doc King, we told you about about their inspiring documentary Project 22. The film, which they’re aiming to release this summer, follows the 27-day motorcycle journey Daniel and Doc took across the U.S. They rode all that way to draw attention to the shocking suicide rate among veterans — an average of 22 a day.
Project 22 is only the start of what’s coming from from Daniel and Doc’s organization, Medicinal Missions. They want the group to improve veterans’ life through a formula that many of our other DesignGood-ers use: positivity and social outreach.
“Veterans should be mentors and should be able to continue their lives and use what they have for good,” Daniel says. “We’re spreading the word that hope is out there.”
One vet at a time
Another really cool thing about Medicinal Missions’ work is its focus on the individual. The group reaches out directly to veterans who are suffering.”We get calls from people saying ‘My husband is in a dark place right now,’ and we’ll say ‘OK, give us your number,’” Daniel says.
“We’ll call, and he’ll start crying on the phone.”
For Daniel and Doc, the mission is personal.
“We keep in touch with these people,” Daniel says. “We’ll call everyone and tell them to reach out anytime, and they do. I just spent an hour on the phone talking to someone I’ve never met before but we have everything in common.”
Time to set sail
When it comes to treating veterans, Daniel and Doc preach connection. “What we’re going to do is just continue trying to reach out to these veterans and show them holistic and natural ways of living,” Daniel says.
Whether it’s hiking, meditating or yoga, Medicinal Missions brings veterans together to connect over simple activities. And next up, the Project 22 group is taking their journey to the water: The motorcycle dudes are going sailing.
“Project 22 was Mission 1. Mission 2 is a sailing clinic that was started by Ronnie Simpson – a wounded, legally blind veteran – and he now wants us to become official sponsors.”
The group was featured sailing in the Project 22 trailer, and the guys are now looking to raise money to aid the work of the clinic. “It’s the most amazing clinic I’ve ever been to – it’s eight wounded veterans, all together, working as a team – just like a squad.”
‘Our lives are changed’
Daniel and Doc also want to change the way we perceive and treat veterans.
“Ancient cultures took care of the warrior. Now, there’s this notion that post-traumatic stress disorder is on the individual, but there’s nothing wrong with us,” Daniel says. “Our lives, from the day we left boot camp are changed – not in a good or bad way, they’re just changed. To have PTSD for what we did is 100 percent normal. It would be strange if we did what we did, and saw what we saw, and didn’t feel anything.”
Medicinal Missions is taking action. “We’re working with a doctor of combat trauma who will help us to translate what they did in these great, old, successful warrior cultures into modern day. We want this cultural shift to be a Marine walking off base and saying ‘I earned it – I’m a veteran and I’m going to be a mentor and have a very happy and peaceful life.’”
Fighting the good fight
At DesignGood, we know these guys are on the right track –and while they’re getting support almost everywhere they turn, Daniel and Doc could still use your help.
“We’re sponsored by a nonprofit called From The Heart Productions while we work on becoming a nonprofit ourselves, so donations through the website are tax deductible and go strictly to Medicinal Missions. Anything that is overfunded will be used for veterans.”
Project 22 and Medicinal Missions are about hope – something that becomes clear after you learn about Daniel and Doc’s story. “There are people out there doing great things for veterans and there is a shift in the culture,” Daniel says.
We’re right there with them in firmly believing that there is a greater, better life out there for veterans who are struggling –and anyone else who is.
“The biggest thing that I learned from the Project 22 trip is that we’re all having the same struggles. We are perfect. We are normal, and we are all the same.”