Marching for veteran suicide awareness - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Marching for veteran suicide awareness

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---A startling number of veterans commit suicide every year. Saturday morning veterans and supporters raised awareness of the growing problem while raising money for a military retreat center.

Every step taken during the Carry the Fallen March raises awareness of veteran suicide. National Director of Carry the Fallen, Nathan Karpinski, says marchers are not only carrying their weight, but also the weight of fallen soldiers.

“The ruck sacks symbolize carrying the load that those soldiers that committed suicide couldn't carry any longer," said Karpinski.

Participants marched eight miles from Slugger Field to Veterans Memorial Park in Louisville.

The Carry the Fallen Organization says 22 veterans per day commit suicide, totaling over 8,000 per year. During the entire War on Terror, a little more than 8,100 soldiers were killed in action.

The numbers show more veterans are being lost to suicide than war.

“That's why we're doing it, because these people don't know. People don't realize that the numbers are that high,” said Karpinski.

Laura Leigh Logsdon, whose husband is a member of the National Guard, hopes no more soldiers pay the ultimate price for something that could have been prevented.

“These guys have given so much sacrifice, time away from their family, and just to be able to raise awareness and to raise money to build a retreat that will help hopefully decrease the numbers for veteran's suicide," said Logsdon.

Money raised from the walk will help fund the Active Heroes Military Family Retreat in Shepherdsville, KY.

The retreat is 144 acres that will be dedicated to helping soldiers and their families in a non-clinical setting where they can get away from all the stressors that trigger Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and lead to veteran suicide.

As an active duty member of the National Guard, Derek Logsdon says “the numbers will continue to stay what they are, but if we can get programs set in place, like my wife said about the retreat, so we can get the information out to veterans and society, hopefully our numbers will decrease in the future.”

Karpinski says a lot of veterans need immediate help and that's what the retreat is there for. He says if someone calls them with suicidal thoughts, help will be available 24/7, 365 days a week.

Carry the Fallen events have raised more than 365,000 dollars. The Ruck March happens four times a year and is a world-wide event. Marches took place here in Louisville, Minnesota, and even as far away as Africa.

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