Marine hikes Appalachian Trail in honor of military brothers and sisters who died by suicide
”When you are in the military you kind of get that sense that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness.”
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A Marine just finished hiking the Appalachian Trail. He hiked in honor of his fellow Marines who died of suicide and used his trip to fundraise, giving the money to organizations combatting suicide rates among veterans.
Kevin Maksudovski says he has lost too many military brothers and sisters to suicide, so he walked the steps they could not.
”There is a term that everyone uses called Hike Your Own Hike. I didn’t go out there just to hike and see the trees. I did it for a purpose,” said Maksudovski. ”I did this to raise money for veteran suicide prevention.”
Kevin raised a little over $7,000. His goal was $22,000.
While the hike is over, Kevin hasn’t stopped fundraising.
”When you are in the military, you kind of get that sense that reaching out for help is a sign of weakness,” said Maksudovski.
The money he raises is going to four organizations that help combat suicide rates among veterans: Irreverent Warriors, Disabled American Veterans, Tunnel to Towers Foundation, and Wounded Warrior Project.
”Y’all see a smile on my face every day but y’all don’t really know what goes on inside of me,” said, Staff Sgt. Sam Hargrove, a warrior at Wounded Warrior Project. Hargrove said, ”working with Wounded Warrior Project has been, the best thing for me.”
According to Veterans Affairs, 17 veterans die by suicide each day in the United States.
Kevin is taking literal steps to change that and in the process, find a little healing of his own.
If you or someone you know is having a crisis, you can call, text or online chat with the suicide and crisis lifeline. The number is 988.
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