Veterans will march 22K this weekend to raise suicide awareness

March starts at the Mill Mountain Star


ROANOKE, Va. – About 22 veterans commit suicide each day in the US, but the Student Veterans of Southwest Virginia are trying to put an end to that.

The 22K Veteran Suicide Awareness Ruck March is this Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Mill Mountain Star. There is no cost to participate. 

Organizer Mark Shelton knows what it's like to step back into civilian life after serving in the armed forces. 

"When you leave service, it's not like leaving any other form of employment," said Mark Shelton, organizer. "You know the guy next to you better than you know some of your family, so when you leave that environment, it turns ugly for some people. That's why the suicide rate is so high. So really I think bringing the community together is going to help with mental health."

Parking for the march will be at the First Baptist Church in Roanoke. Participants will be shuttled to the star. The march is set to wrap up around 3:30 p.m. at Big Lick Brewing Company, where a veteran social is planned for 3 to 9 p.m. 

This is the third year for the event. Click here to learn more about it.