STUDENTS HIKE FROM TUSCALOOSA TO AUBURN FOR VETERAN SUICIDE AWARENESS

Story by WVUA 23’s Lacey Beasley.

Students from the University of Alabama and Auburn University have a tiring journey ahead of them. A 151 mile-journey to be exact.

Over Thanksgiving break, 80 students and support members are participating in a three-day hike from Bryant-Denny Stadium to Jordan-Hare Stadium to raise awareness for Veteran Suicide. The hike is called Operation Iron Ruck, named after a military term for hiking with a heavy backpack.

This march supports a national campaign called Mission 22.

“For people who don’t know, 22 veterans commit suicide everyday,” said Slade Salmon, president of UA’s Campus Veterans Association. “So we’re trying to get that message out, but we’re also trying to get the message out like it’s okay to reach out to your buddy.”

This is the second year the Alabama and Auburn Veterans Associations have held this march.

The hike will start at 8 a.m. on Nov. 27 and finish at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Nov.30, with just enough time to watch the Iron Bowl.

“I can tell you it was one of the most miserable three days of my life,” said Salmon. “Super fun, met a whole bunch of really cool people at Auburn.”

If you would like to donate to the march, venmo @UACVA1. You can also make a check out to “Auburn Student Veteran Association” or “Campus Veteran Association.”

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