Dozens run 22K for Veterans suicide awareness - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Dozens run 22K for Veterans suicide awareness

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Carrying 22 pounds of gear on their back, these servicemen have a 22-K Journey.  

"We've done stuff like this before, not this distance. It's just important to pace yourself," said Zach Holcomb.

22 pounds. 22 kilometers.   

That's one pound and one kilometer for every veteran who have one thing in common. 22 veterans die every day for the same reason.

"Our brothers and sisters who are committing suicide is something that really weighs on our minds," said Holcomb.

With every step, and every thought about quitting, they still go. From the cross in Sewanne to the Monteagle National Guard Armory.

They go and go.

Katie Goforth helped organize Sunday's run.

After attending a suicide prevention meeting in March, she knew she had to do something.

"We want to make sure that they know they are not alone. That there are others going through these challenges as well," said Goforth.

Goforth says events help, but daily discussion is better.  

Government numbers show the biggest risk of death is the first three years after deployment.

In fact, veterans who served after 9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq are 41-percent more likely to die by suicide than non-veterans.

Experts say one of the best prevention is to talk about it.

If you or someone you know would like to do just that, call 1-800-273-talk.

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