The Delaware 22in22 initiative will recognize veteran advocate Eric Lauppe for his tireless support of veteran causes with their annual “22in22 Award.” Mr. Lauppe will be honored at the organization’s outdoor event, Vet Fest, held at the Town of Whitehall on Saturday, September 30, 2023 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. The award ceremony takes place at 12:00 noon. According to 22in22 co-founder, Brian DiSabatino, “Eric served this country for over 24 years and is an outstanding role model. It is not uncommon for us to see him organizing Wreaths Across America at the Bear Delaware Cemetery months before the trailers pull into town. And of course, he’s been a critical member of the Vet Fest team, providing a link to major employers, like his employer, Chase Bank.” Eric is a site lead for Chase’s VETS Business Resource Group "Voices for those that Served". ” Sgt. Eric Lauppe served as a C-130 Aircraft Loadmaster in the Delaware Air National Guard for 24 years. In his service, he served 10 deployments in every AOR, flying over 300 combat sorties with 3,800 flying hours. Eric has been awarded a Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal with six devices. Now, Sgt. Lauppe is involved with numerous programs and groups supporting veterans, including VETFest, 22 in 22, The Wall that Heals, and Wreaths Across America. Organizers for the event say that the day starts with a parade at 10:00 am, a 5K run and weighted 10K Ruck at 11:00 and the 22in22 award at noon. The ceremony is followed by a concert by the United States Army’s 287th Rock Band followed by a very special concert by ledgendary rock star Mark Farner, formerly of Grand Funk Railroad. Proceeds go to bringing the veteran and civilian communities together and to support the non-profit, StopSoldierSuicide.org. In addition to Delaware, events are happening around the country as a result of the Delaware inspiration. Previous honorees of the 22in22 Award have included retired General Francis Vavala for his support of suicide awareness through his tenure at the Delaware National Guard, Dr. Mark Brainard for launching the annual 22in22 program at Delaware Technical Community College where he serves as its 5th President, veteran/businessman Steve Masterson for his philithropic support of veterans, YolandaBorttof for her work at the USO, American Legion Commander David Strawbridge and local veteran advocates John Stagliano, Rosely Robinson and Hall of Fame boxing legend David Tiberi for their passionate work with veterans.