Kentucky Soldiers lift 1,000,000 pounds, bringing light on suicide prevention

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Raising awareness about suicide prevention:  1st. Lt. Bryson Yarbrough, 2nd Lt. Jacob Conner, Sgt. Billie Jacobs, Sgt. Dallas Robinson and Capt. Ryan Hubbs lifted 1,093,910 pounds in six hours and fifty-five minutes for the cause. 1st. Lt. Joshua Daugherty, far right, is the Kentucky National Guard Suicide Prevention Program Manager.  (Photo by Alli Burton, Kentucky National Guard Community Outreach)

Story by David Altom, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. — Olympian and Kentucky National Guard Sgt. Dallas Robinson was joined by four of his fellow soldiers in raising awareness for suicide prevention by participating in a Million Pound Weightlifting Challenge. The event took place Sept. 29 at Man O’War Crossfit, 110 Bradley Drive, Nicholasville.

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2nd Lt. Jacob Conner hard at work, raising awareness about suicide prevention. Each member of the team committed to lifting at least 200,000 pounds by the end of the deadline. (Photo by Alli Burton, Kentucky National Guard Community Outreach)

Click here for more photos of this event.

Click here for the video.

Robinson was on the United States bobsled team during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

The original plan was for the team to lift one million pounds of weights in a 24 hour period, taking periodic breaks to rest, eat and hydrate. There were four exercises/lifts that the soldiers could do: bench press, squats, chin-ups or pull-ups and dead lifts.

“This is a symbol of a bunch of soldiers coming together and obviously our sums of each of us added together are far greater than any of us individually,” said Robinson.  “No one of us can lift a million pounds, but as a team, we can do something that is seemingly unachievable.”

Amazingly, the five soldiers got the job done in six hours and fifty-five minutes.

Billie Jacobs

Sgt. Billie Jacobs, an MP with the 617th Military Police Company, has a special reason for taking part in the Million Pound Challenge: her mother took her own life last year. (Photo by Alli Burton, Kentucky National Guard Community Outreach)

“It was kind of surprising to get it done so quickly,” said Sgt. Billie Jacobs, an MP with the 617th Military Police Company.  “I knew the caliber of guys I’d be lifting with, so I was confident we’d get it done by the deadline.  To finish up so quickly was very cool.”

Each soldier committed to lifting 200,000 pounds apiece by the deadline.  In the end, they lifted a combined 1,093,910 pounds.

But it wasn’t all about lifting weights.  The Kentucky National Guard has a proactive Suicide Prevention Assistance Program that provides resources for citizen soldiers and airmen and their families.  Jacobs and her fellow troops wanted to bring attention to this very important issue.

“My mother committed suicide last year,” she said.  “So I’ve got a personal stake in this.  Her death hit me pretty hard.  If something like the million pound challenge helps get the message out, then count me in to do this again.”

In addition to Robinson and Jacobs, Capt. Ryan Hubbs, 2nd Lt. Jacob Conner and 1st. Lt. Bryson Yarbrough were on the team.

If you or someone you know needs help, reach out for assistance.  Click here for more information on suicide prevention. 

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