“24 for 22 Walk” honors veterans lost to suicide

The walk was held to raise awareness and honor the 22 veterans that lose their lives to suicide every day.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — On Saturday, Mission 22 in Rapid City kicked off a 24 for 22 Walk at the South Dakota Mines Ohara Stadium.

Mission 22 WalkThe walk was held to raise awareness and honor the 22 veterans that lose their lives to suicide every day.

Local first responders, including the Rapid City Fire Departments, Rapid City Police Department, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office South Dakota Highway Patrol and Sturgis Police Department, showed their support.

Chris Cooper, the Region 8 Leader for Mission 22 says that this walk is symbolic for another reason and that he’ll be walking for 24 hours straight. Cooper says that it’s part of the greater message he’s trying to spread to those who are struggling.

“When I’m walking by myself, it’s hard. It’s tough, you know. You just wonder, ‘Can I do this? Can I finish? I’m tired, I’m sore,’ you know,” Cooper said. “I had thoughts of wanting to give up across the mind. But you know, there’s people out there for you. And as the morning comes, I start having people show up again and it kind of gives me the boost of energy. And it keeps me wanting to go and keep going to the finish line.”

The walk is also meant to honor everyone who has died of suicide and for anyone that’s struggling, Cooper says they were and are welcome to join.

“Share your story and you know I’ll listen to you, help you out,” Cooper said. “And if you’ve lost someone to suicide, share that story with me because I’d love to hear it – because I believe as long as we remember those that we’ve lost, they’re never truly dead. They’re still here with us.”

Cooper continued walking until 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.

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