Sterling man fighting veteran suicides with new 5K, Pups for Vets program

The sun sparkles through ice on a tree branch as the American Flag waves in the background on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023 downtown Princeton. A combination of sleet and light snow from last night formed a thin layer of ice on branches and other surfaces.

STERLING – With the help of a Sterling Army veteran, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit veterans suicide prevention group is expanding its reach to Illinois, starting with a 5K fundraiser this summer.

The 5K run for Veteran Suicide Prevention begins at 8 a.m. on Aug. 12 at New Life Lutheran Church, 702 W. Lynn Blvd.

The cost to participate is $30, which includes at T-shirt for those who register by July 22 at or by clicking on the events tab at

There will be live music, Sweet Butts cotton candy will be sold, and pizza will be provided. Proceeds and donations will be given to the new 22Mohawks’ Illinois chapter.

Retired Army Sgt. Floyd Dunn of Sterling, who turns 36 on Wednesday, is organizing the 5K and also bringing other 22Mohawks events to the area, including a tandem parachute jump.

The jump, involving 10 veterans chosen by lottery, will take place on Sept. 3 at Rochelle Municipal Airport. Those interested can register for the lottery also by clicking on the events tab at Civilians can participate for a fee.

Dunn, who said he was in the Army for eight years, also is helping bring the 22Mohawks Pups for Vets program to the area. He’ll be working with Sterling/RockFalls dog trainer Mushy Cookie K9 to pair rescue dogs with local veterans and train them to be companions, free of charge.

Go to and click on Pups for Vets for an application. Go to to donate; contact Dunn at 815-716-1380 or to sponsor 22Mohawk Illinois events, or for more information.

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Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.