Veterans hold 22K suicide hike - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Veterans hold 22K suicide hike

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CORALVILLE (KWWL) -

Veterans held a Silkies Hike 22 in Coralville Saturday morning starting at S. T. Morrison Park and ending at Bobbers Grill.

Participants hiked 22 kilometers with 22 kilograms of weight on their backs to prevent and raise awareness for the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day.

The day of the hike was especially meaningful for hike organizer and veteran Chris Dun.

“This day marks the one year anniversary of a really close friend of mine that took her life," Dun said. "She was part of a National Guard unit out of Iowa City.”

Dun got the idea from a captain in San Diego who held the first Hike 22 three months ago.

Since then, around 30 hikes have happened across the United States.

One of the goals of the Coralville hike is to send one of the participants to a location of their choice around the country to have their own hike.

“We're selling raffle tickets for this event. All the money and the proceeds are going... to send someone to another hike," hike volunteer Maggie Wettstine said. "They kind of do them all over the country, wherever they'd like to go.”

Dun has one personal goal for the hike as well.

"I just hope it'll bring everybody together," he said. "It's a good way to kind of reconnect with some of the guys I deployed with, to connect with other veterans in my community, and just to share our same experiences.”

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