Men March to Raise Awareness About Suicides in Military

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- Four men who have served in the military ruck marched for 12 hours on Sunday to raise awareness about suicide among veterans.

Matt Rinker and Andrew Burns headed up the effort.

Rucking means they're ready for anything because they carry everything on their back.

It's a sign of support for families going through hard or heavy times.

They walked more than 30 miles today to remember soldiers some of them have served with who have committed suicide

"Sorry I kind of get choked up about it. But the rate of suicides among veterans and service members is appalling," said Matthew Rinker.

Each step is for a relative, a friend or someone they knew of in a battalion that served.

The money goes toward the active heroes organization.

They have raised $1,080, but that number could grow by Monday.

Army Specialist Matthew Rinker and Army Specialist Andrew Burns only started planning the march on Tuesday.

They said they have received a lot of support from the community.

They also gave some unexpected car help along the way.

They say carrying heavy loads is symbolic.

"Show solidarity because they do carry a heavy burden and a ruck obviously physically is a heavy burden but you know for twelve hours, it's worth it," said Army Specialist Andrew Burns.

"To watch your service members, watch your veterans, look for the signs," said Army Specialist Matthew Rinker.

Burns and Rinker said they're thankful that they also got to walk last minute in the veterans parade with the Proud American Riders.

They hope next year they'll have more people involved.

Rinker and Burns also plan on raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project on Memorial Day.


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