Retired Marine launches fundraiser for veteran suicide awareness

U.S. flags
U.S. flags(Gray)
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 5:16 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Retired Marine Shawn Carian announced the launch of what he hopes to be a new annual event for Wichita Falls. He’s putting together a 22-mile charity ruck hike to raise funds and awareness for veteran suicide.

Carian said the event is symbolic, representing the 22 veterans lost to suicide daily in the United States. According to a 2021 report from Veteran Affairs, the average number of daily veteran suicides has risen from 2001 to 2019, the latest year with data available.

However, Carian claims the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs don’t accurately track or release the actual statistics. Reportedly, estimates from 2020 exceed 22 deaths per day, going as high as 33 suicides. His mission in launching 22 Miles for 22 Vets is to bring community and support to veterans who are at risk of suicide.

His primary goal for the first year is to raise $10,000, split equally among Operation Heal Our Patriots and Mighty Oaks Foundation. Carian says he needs vendors, sponsors, volunteers, and participants to do that.

Interested hikers can purchase tickets for the events online. Tickets are $65 for individuals and $45 for military groups of six people or more.

Interested vendors and sponsors can contact Carian via email at Carian seeks sponsorship from athletic companies, military organizations, local businesses, and volunteers from local churches and first responders.