PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Base jumping is something a majority of people can probably say they have never done, and if they have, most can likely count the number of times on one hand. A military veteran in Phoenix decided to go beyond not one, but two hands. On Saturday, he jumped off Camelback Mountain 22 times!
Former Marine and scout sniper, Tristan Wimmer of Phoenix, BASE jumping more than a dozen times off Camelback is not just for a thrill -- it has meaning. Over and over again, he kept climbing up and jumping down until he reached a significant number.
"I'm doing it 22 times and it's to symbolize the estimated 22 veteran suicides a day," said Wimmer. "And it's something that has touched me personally."
Wimmer's brother died by suicide five years ago. "It nearly flattened me. I had a really hard time with it. And really, in the last 18 months, I haven't been able to talk about it in front of a camera. So, it was time to do something about it," he said.
[RELATED: Suicide prevention is everyone's business]
Wimmer's base jumping stunts started early Saturday morning, as he unloaded parachute packs. However, the eye-catching jumps weren't just to bring awareness to suicide. He additionally hopes to raise money for Cohen Veterans Bioscience, a non-profit that focuses on scientific research into the connection between traumatic brain injuries and suicide.
"This is a serious health issue for our society, primarily for our veterans," said Frank Larkin, who represented the nonprofit at the jumps.
For 12 hours, Wimmer kept jumping with progress on his mind and his brother in his heart.