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Marching miles to raise awareness of military suicides

Issues Jennifer Simonson · ·

1 Landon Steele, left, a former combat medic in Iraq, organizes a 23-mile walk to raise awareness of the military veterans who kill themselves --between 18 and 22 veterans daily -- Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. The dozens who gathered to participate started at the Richfield VFW, walked to the State Capitol and ended at the Uptown VFW in Minneapolis. 
2 Military veterans and their families and supporters gather Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in the parking lot of the Richfield VFW before beginning at 23-mile march to raise awareness of troop suicide. 
3 Homemade signs lean agains the wall before the walk Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 at the Richfield VFW. 
4 Military veterans, their families and supporters gather Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in the parking lot of the Richfield VFW before beginning at 23-mile march to raise awareness of troop suicide. 
5 The veterans carried an American flag during the 23-mile walk and many were dressed in full gear, including back packs, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 at the Richfield VFW. 
6 James Blumenschein, center, one of the organizers of the 23-mile march to raise awareness of troop suicide, gets help securing an American flag to his back pack Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in Richfield. 
7 Doctor James Blumenschein, one of the organizers of the 23-mile march to raise awareness of troop suicide, tightens his boot laces before the walk Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in Richfield. 
8 Military doctors Landon Steele, right, and James Blumenschein, second from right, lead dozens of veterans on a 23-mile walk from the Richfield VFW to the State Capitol to the Uptown VFW in Minneapolis Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. By marching 23 miles, they are hoping to raise awareness of the military veterans who kill themselves each day. 
9 The veterans, led by march organizer Landon Steele, left, walk along 65th St. W. in Richfield Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 on their way to the State Capitol in St. Paul and then on to the Uptown VFW in Minneapolis. 
10 The veterans, led by march organizers James Blumenschein, left, and Landon Steele, center, walk along 65th St. W. in Richfield Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 on their way to the State Capitol in St. Paul and then on to the Uptown VFW in Minneapolis. 
11 The group of dozens of military veterans, and one dog, crosses Lyndale Avenue at 65th Street W. in Richfield on the way to the State Capitol Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. The 23-mile march is intended to raise awareness of troop suicide. 
12 Eric Held, of Blaine, with his 3-year-old son Garrett Held, takes a short break at the State Capitol before continuing the walk on to the VFW in Uptown Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in St. Paul. Held was walking in place of his wife Brandie, who served in the Army National Guard, but who wasn't able to march today. 
13 The veterans and some supporters pose for photographs on the steps of the State Capitol Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 in St. Paul before continuing their 23-mile march, finishing at the VFW in Uptown Minneapolis.