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Students march from Green Bay to Milwaukee for veteran suicide awareness

Posted at 6:28 PM, Aug 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-23 19:28:12-04

Students are participating in a 140-mile walk from Green Bay to Milwaukee called a Ruck March over six days.

Four ROTC students from St. Norbert College started this to raise awareness about Veteran Affairs and $22,000 for 4th HOOAH Wisconsin.  

HOOAH, Inc is a non-profit that hosts events and various types of support for service men and women. 

Kellen Witty, Quinn Schoenenberger, Jake Swenson and Avery Zucchi's steps over six days started Aug. 19 in Green Bay.

Zucchi says the trek will end on Saturday at Milwaukee's Veterans Park. During their ruck through Sheboygan the men are joined by friends Matt Gernetzke and Rebecca Wolff. 

The group is the third to do this ruck down the coast of Lake Michigan. Zucchi says it's hard but worth the journey to raise awareness. 

"Why not, why can't we? You know," said Zucchi,"I think most of us can agree that they deserve all that we can possibly give them."

The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in 2015 finds 20.6 active-duty Service members, non-activated Guard or Reserve members, and other Veterans die by suicide every day. That's nearly 14.3 percent of suicides in America counted towards Veterans. 

Schoenenberger says those stats are among the reasons why they march. 

"It's not about us. It's about the veterans. It's about the people that serve before us and it's that legacy. You know, for everyone that's serving and currently overseas," said Schoenenberger.

So far they've covered 86 miles, only 54 more to go till Saturday. During their journey the group has managed to raise nearly $5,000 for their $22,000 goal.

The students will end their march at Veterans Park with 100 percent of proceeds go to 4th HOOAH Wisconsin.

For more information on their journey,click here.