Community Issues

Marine Walks Around Lake Michigan For Suicide Prevention

His adventure started quietly, and ended with national attention to the problem.

Some have called the number of suicides among military veterans is a silent epidemic. So it's kind of appropriate that Marine Travis Snyder didn't advertise it when he quietly laced up his shoes and set on a 42-day, 819 mile walk around Lake Michigan to call more attention to the problem.

As Travis picked up steam and added on the miles, so too did attention to his effort which started in late August in Manistee, MI, came full circle last week (above). His trek took him through small towns like Holland, MI, and big cities like Green Bay, WI and Chicago, IL. Here's a video from the Facebook page Veteran Suicide Awareness: Travis Hikes Around Lake Michigan where Travis describes what he intended to do, and why.

Visiting firefighters in Stephenson, MI, on Day 16.

On average, 22 veterans die by suicide each day. Travis' effort to bring awareness touched the thousands who followed him on his walk. "Watching this adventure has helped me grieve my buddy, who tragically was one of the 22 on January 18, 2014," wrote one veteran on the Facebook page.

On the air at WSJM in St. Joseph, MI.

The media coverage Travis got -- from local radio stations to Fox News -- gave him the platform he wanted to tell the story of the suicide epidemic and lobby for more help to stop it. You can see Travis' entire trip on video and through photographs at the hike Facebook page .

If you or someone you know needs help, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline answers 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. Select option 1 to be connected to a VA staffer. You can also click here for additional suicide prevention resources at the National Suicide Prevention website OR click here for the Veterans Crisis Line website .

(Video & images: Veteran Suicide Awareness: Traves Hikes Around Lake Michigan Facebook page)

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