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Hike for help

Becky Vargo • Oct 10, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Forty local veterans carried 22 kilogram packs on a 22 kilometer (13.8 mile) hike Saturday to bring awareness about the 22 military veterans who take their lives every day.

Veterans of the different military services started their march at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Charles A. Conklin American Legion Post 28. They hiked around parts of Grand Haven, into Spring Lake and back to complete their hike at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

“It’s a bunch of veterans getting together basically to show support for each other, said Staff Sgt. Jerry Bell, the local recruiter for the United States Marine Corps and organizer of the event.

“We’re creating a network, letting people know we’re here if they need help,” Bell said.

The group hoisted the American flag and the Prisoner of War flag as well as flags for the various arms of the military 

They charged up Five Mile Hill, encouraging and helping each other, posed for a picture and then continued on their way.

“When you get out of the military, it’s a shock,” Bell said. “It’s not just the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, it’s the older vets too.”

Bell said they wanted all of the veterans to know they were there for each other 

“We always have our brother’s back,” Bell said.

Give an Hour is a nonprofit organization, which provides free mental health services to military members, veterans and their families. To learn more, visit www.giveanhour.org or https://connected.giveanhour.org.

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