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Friday, May 23, 2014 - 1:47pm

Veterans Advocates Carry Heavy Packs On 120-Mile March In Honor Of Soldiers Lost To Suicide

A veterans group is spending this Memorial Day weekend marching to raise awareness of suicide and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Around a dozen members of the group , Active Heroes will take turns carrying heavy rucksacks along a 120-mile route.
U.S. Army Capt. David Goodell of Richmond Hill is one of the organizers. He says participants will carry heavy rucksacks to symbolize the pain felt by veterans who’ve taken their own lives, and the families left behind.

“We’re carrying a load, a pack on our backs, filled with weight that we will ruck and endure the hardship and pain of carrying that pack as long as we carry it in honor of them,” he says.

The goal, he says, is to help friends and relatives of service members better understand veterans’ mental health needs.

When people understand and realize how serious a problem this is, they might want to get involved,” Goodell says. “And they might want to start taking closer looks at their loved ones and the issues they might possibly be suffering from, and reaching out to them.”

The walk starts late Friday near Kingsland, Florida and wraps up around noon Sunday along the Savannah riverfront.