Memorial Day March Highlights High Suicide Rate Among Veterans, Military Members

Posted at 2:32 PM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-28 14:32:13-04

RICHMOND, Ky. (LEX 18) — More than a dozen veterans marched from Richmond to Winchester to bring awareness for fallen brothers and sisters and to bring awareness for veterans and military members who fall victim to suicide.

As the sun rose over White Hall State Park, a group united by their service gathered once again to march on Memorial Day.

The group marched 22 miles with 22 pounds in their rucksacks. Twenty-two signifies the number of veterans who die by suicide daily.

"That’s just a number that is ridiculous. It is unsustainable. We cannot allow that to keep happening," Donald King, a member of the Kentucky Army National Guard told LEX 18’s Conroy Delouche.

Robert Smith, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, also spoke with LEX 18 about his struggles with homelessness after he returned home. His biggest fear was reaching for help to deal with his struggles.

"I was afraid to. Then I just sucked it up and said, ‘Hey, let’s go. Dig down, let’s go,’"  said Smith.

They knew it would take some time to walk the 22 miles, but the point was not the speed in which they got to their destination.

"The point is to get it done together," said Donald King. 

If you would like to donate to raise awareness for suicide among veterans, you can click here. Donations are also being accepted by VFW 2728 in Winchester.