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Thursday - June 21, 2018 1:37 am

Walk with Warriors Saturday: 2.2 miles to signify the 22 vets that commit suicide daily

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@LaXYMCA on Facebook @LaXYMCA on Facebook

Everyday, 22 veterans in the U.S. commit suicide.

It's a staggering number but one significant Saturday for a group hoping to bring awareness to it. 

The 2.2-mile Walk with Warriors begins at 10 a.m. at the Onalaska American Legion Post 336 (map).

The first year had 20 participants but it was a little more intense — a 22-mile walk with a 160-pound rucksack, often seen with military service members. 

The 2.2-mile walk is a little more family friendly, which is helping bring awareness to the ongoing problem.

Last year, 105 took part.

"This year, it's just exploded," Carl Klubertanz with the Onalaska YMCA said of the fourth annual event that hopes to raise awareness of the need for more mental health services.

The Onalaska Y does offer help to veterans through the Wellness Warriors group.

"It's a small group of veterans from all different eras that get together once a week," Klubertanz said. "Our wellness director at the YMCA is a veteran himself, so he speaks the language and knows what to do."

Over 300 are already pre-registered, which is now closed. Others are encouraged to register Saturday.

Drew Kelly

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