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Vets hike 22 km in DC to draw attention to veteran suicides

The group’s mission, “is to bring veterans together using humor and camaraderie to heal the mental wounds of war”

(National SentinelMilitary Suicides: Vets decked out in silkies — silk-laden shorts — hiked 22 km on Saturday in Washington, D.C., as a way to draw attention to problem of increased military suicides.

At one point in recent years, military members and vets were killing themselves at a rate of about 22 per day, a staggeringly high figure for such a small demographic. Only about 7 percent of the U.S. population has served, or is serving, in uniform.

As reported by Circa News:

Irreverent Warriors founded the Silkies Hike, where veterans and active duty military members hike 22 kilometers, or about 13 miles, carrying 22 kilograms, or almost 50 pounds, all while wearing silkies…

Though the hike will take place in the nation’s capital on Saturday, the group connects thousands of veterans from all over the country. The first hike this year started in Minnesota in April, and throughout the year hikes will take in many places, including New York City, Boston and Houston. According to their website, the last hike in 2017 will take place in Sausalito, California on December 9.

The group’s mission, “is to bring veterans together using humor and camaraderie to heal the mental wounds of war,” according to their website. Also, the group tries to prevent suicide by bringing veterans together and giving them a sense of community.

“Laughing in the midst of tragedy allows us to continue the mission without breaking down mentally ever day,” they explain on their website.

Non-vets can volunteer, but only members of the active duty military, reserves and National Guard can participate in the event.

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