5k run seeks to raise veteran suicide awareness

When many of our service members return home they find that it is different than how they left it, leading 22 veterans a day to commit suicide.

Veterans are now hoping to team up with you and reduce the number of veteran suicides during the “Run as One 5k”.

For veteran Ryan McKennedy, running a 5k is nothing compared to what he faced while on deployment.

“We never really knew how far we went,” said McKennedy. “No one really kept track.”

Once his run on active duty ended McKennedy, like many other veterans, started to have problems.

“When you’re in the military or you’re overseas you have a very dedicated mission,” said McKennedy. “You believe in that mission, and you will do anything to accomplish that mission, and you have tons of other people around you trying to accomplish that same mission. When you come home that mission, that self-worth is sometimes lost.”

A loss that some veterans are unable to overcome on their own.

“22 veterans a day are committing suicide,” said McKennedy.

A statistic that McKennedy feels you can change by participating in Saturday’s nationwide “Run as One”.

“If we can change the life of one person that’s a big difference for us,” said McKennedy.

True to form, just like their duties overseas the veterans will hold the walk rain or shine, so that none of their brothers get left behind.

The free “Run as One 5k” will be held Saturday at the Marion, IL, VA hospital.

Registration for the event starts at 9:00 a.m., and the race starts at 10:00 a.m.

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