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Veterans hike through Grand Rapids to raise awareness

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Military veterans made their way through Grand Rapids Saturday on a 13-mile hike, all to help raise awareness for veteran suicide and Post-traumatic street disorder (PTSD).

This is the second year the hike has been put on in Grand Rapids and it's already growing.

“Everyone here has been through a similar struggle and were all here for each other,” says organizer Shane Dougherty.

More than 50 veterans took to the streets on a hike to raise awareness.

“I’ve had personally 6 people from my unit that I was with that have committed suicide so it’s pretty near and dear to me to bring awareness," says Philip Owens, a Marine Corps veteran.

To represent the 22 veterans that commit suicide everyday, many wore 22-kilo packs on their backs for the 13-mile hike.

“Their sacrifice becomes our burden and will gladly pick up that pack and go as far as we need to with it, which today is 22 kilometers," says Philip Owens, “It is just really good to get together with everybody and know you’re not alone."

Not only does this event raise awareness but it builds a bond only they can understand.

The hike was organized by the Irreverent Warriors, who put these on worldwide.

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