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US Marine on 300-mile hike to raise awareness for veteran suicide

A United States Marine veteran is on an approximate 300-mile walk to raise awareness about veteran suicide.

Mia Cathell The Post Millennial
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A United States Marine veteran is on an approximate 300-mile walk to raise awareness about veteran suicide.

The two-week journey sounded off on Monday from his hometown of Holland, Michigan, and will end at his destination in Mackinaw City, Michigan.

“I’m doing it in support of the Mission 22 organization,” Travis Snyder told the Daily Caller. “They work nationwide to help veterans and their families find their way through mental health challenges.”

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Good Morning everyone! Hope you’re enjoying your weekend! Tomorrow is the day I’ll be taking off for my 300 mile walk from Holland to Mackinaw. Your support so far has been certainly appreciated. I look forward to seeing some familiar faces along the way, as well as connect with new friends that in one way or another relate to our mission and cause. For anyone that’d like to join in tomorrow, I’ll be taking off (at 8am) from the NW corner of the parking lot in front of Dicks’ Sporting Goods on Westshore Dr, and will be following US31 North to Grand Haven. For more information about the wonderful things Mission 22 does to support our Veteran community, please visit www.mission22/our cause. If you feel inclined to contribute to my venture personally, please follow my gofundme link gf.me/u/yhb289 or Venmo: travissnyder98 Thank you once again for your support and generosity. Have a Blessed Sunday!

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22 US veterans commit suicide daily, according to the Military Veteran Project. The national average, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is 132 people daily.

“Veterans make up a large percentage of that number,” he continued in his exclusive interview with the Daily Caller. “I just felt in my own heart to reach out to them because I can relate firsthand to what they’re going through and what they’re enduring.”

Snyder acknowledged that “even if [soldiers] aren’t on the front lines or in an infantry setting or combat setting, there’s still a lot of pressure that comes with working in the military, in the armed forces.”

He also expressed financial and mental health concerns for veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as uncertainties associated with lockdowns and unemployment.

“For some veterans, they might have been working through mental health challenges already pre-COVID. To endure a pandemic where many are losing their jobs—perhaps losing their homes, their businesses—and still trying to retain their family unit and take care of their loved ones, it’s definitely a big challenge,” Snyder went on.

Snyder encouraged the public to “reach out to those veterans that are struggling" and "let them know that there are resources out there available to them" and "ways for them to overcome those challenges.”

Mission 22 even helps veterans with groceries, Snyder noted.

“It’s not just about mental health or overcoming their addictions, but also the practical things too," he stated. "The everyday things like groceries, utilities.  They’re about helping out these veterans in more than one day.”

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Day 7 ? After a 19 mile trek, I found myself landing in Manistee, where I started my 810-mile trip last year. I had good company with me this morning. Thank you to @kidswithacause, @dekker.sj and Jody for tagging along for a handful of miles. If you’re wondering what’s up with the pup...I took my friend Anna’s dog Bandit for a ride down the water slide during our cookout last night. Lol. Good times ?? Thank you to my friends at the local American Legion post, as well as @diner_31 for the love and support. It was nice to see some friends in town before I take off again. Thanks to anyone who stopped by or honked today, I miss my days in Manistee! Tomorrow will be a long day, I’ll be taking off around 5am for Copemish. I’ll be following US31 up to Bear Lake before following a series of backroads and two-tracks East. If you see me out there, be sure to say hello :) Your continued support and contributions to @mission_22 are sincerely appreciated. Thank you so much! For more information about the wonderful things Mission 22 does to support our Veteran community, please visit www.mission22.com/ourcause. Your continued support of my mission and cause has been greatly appreciated. If you feel inclined to contribute to my venture personally, please follow my gofundme link gf.me/u/yhb289 or Venmo: @travissnyder98 Much Love everyone. I’m grateful for your kindness and friendship.

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When reporters asked about the faults in the nation's support systems for veterans, Snyder responded: “[I]t’s kind of hard to pinpoint where we might have [gone] wrong in terms of government.”

“It seems like society wasn’t always so welcoming when it came to talking about mental health challenges whether it be [post-traumatic stress disorder] or depression or suicidal tendencies even," he explained, recounting how a majority of Vietnam, World War II, and Desert Storm veterans he has met "weren’t always taken care of right away" when they returned home without a "second look" at their mental health.

“As far as I know now, you hear conversations happening within congress, the government talking about what we can do for our veterans—our brothers and sisters—that are struggling," Snyder pointed out.

However, the support pours out from within the armed forces, he emphasized, as each branch initiates its own measures and instills protocol "to ensure that our men and women are genuinely being looked after."

The Daily Caller then cited a Gallup Poll that found back in June that 42 percent of American adults are “extremely proud” to be Americans and 21 percent are “very proud.”

“It’s an extremely unfortunate number to hear,” Snyder concluded. “But, the thing that makes this nation great is that we all have different views and different ways of looking at how things are. I’m proud to have fought for the freedom for everyone to speak their mind.”

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