Group walks 22 miles to bring awareness to veteran suicide

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ)- On this Memorial Day, a group of current military service members as well as veterans loaded on 22 pounds of gear and walked 22 miles, all to bring awareness to the 22 veterans on average who commit suicide every day.

“It’s not fun to put on a heavy ruck sack and go for 22 miles but that’s nothing compared to the 22 people per day and that’s nothing compared to what they go through and the pain that they feel,” said Benjamin Joynt, the organizer of the Veteran Suicide Awareness March.

Benjamin Joynt says he got the idea to organize a march for veteran suicide awareness after remembering something a major he served with used to say all the time.

“He would say, when you don’t know what to do just put more in your ruck and just keep going,” said Joynt.

So that’s what Joynt did, lacing up his boots to try and tackle a tragic issue that hits too close to home.

“You know I know people that have succumb to that and I just wanted a way to bring, to kind of bring it to the public eye,” said Joynt.

It’s not just veteran’s themselves, Joynt’s mother who joined him as a driver on the trek said parents have to grapple with this too.

“It’s just staggering to think about and while I’m driving along here I think about the mothers and the fathers that have had to go through those type of losses,” said Rose Joynt, Benjamin Joynt’s mother.

While Joynt admits he doesn’t have a quick answer to the problem of veteran suicide, he says if his march does one thing he hopes it will show people that asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of.

“I think that’s one thing we can do to help is just to, just kind of you know not look at people differently and understand that it is a very normal thing for people to do. I mean life is hard , sometimes you have to go talk to people,” said Joynt.

Joynt says he play to host this walk again next year.

He says he hope more people will come out and join him again.

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