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Alabama college students elevate consciousness for veteran suicide in march from Tuscaloosa to Auburn

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Pupil veterans in Alabama started a greater than 150-mile ruck march on Wednesday from Tuscaloosa to Auburn to boost consciousness for the estimated 17 veterans misplaced to every day to suicide.

The fourth annual Operation Iron Ruck — which options college students from the College of Alabama and Auburn College — kickstarted outdoors of Bryant-Denny Stadium Wednesday in Tuscaloosa and can conclude Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn simply earlier than the rival faculties’ soccer groups face off within the Iron Bowl.

(Slade Salmon)

The 72-hour march consists of marchers from each faculties, most carrying a 17-pound rucksack containing donated gadgets that shall be given to charities which profit Alabama veterans.


College of Alabama Veterans Affiliation President Slade Salmon and Auburn College Pupil Affairs Affiliation President Clay Buchanan are spearheading the trouble.

Student veterans march from Auburn to Tuscaloosa during the Operation Iron Ruck march in 2020.

Pupil veterans march from Auburn to Tuscaloosa throughout the Operation Iron Ruck march in 2020. (Slade Salmon)

“The occasion spans the course of three days, and our goal is to boost public consciousness of veteran suicide, with the secondary goal of elevating donations for nationwide, state and native veteran charity organizations,” Salmon informed Fox Information in regards to the march.

Salmon stated the occasion is “a approach for us to memorialize the 17 veterans who die on a regular basis as a result of suicide” and famous that he makes use of the occasion to reconnect with these he served with.

“I’m not nice at staying in contact with lots of people I served with, however I make an effort to achieve out throughout this time,” Salmon stated. “Isolation is a significant component in veteran suicide. Reaching out to these we served with might be the catalyst in saving a life.”

(Slade Salmon)

Operation Iron Ruck lately partnered with Alabama’s Problem for Stopping Suicide Amongst Service Members, Veterans, and their Households.

“Many veterans, myself included, personally know one other veteran or service member who’ve succumbed to suicide,” Buchanan informed Fox Information. “By Operation Iron Ruck and the collaboration of the scholar veterans of Auburn and Alabama, it really reveals that the veteran neighborhood is robust and dedicated to deal with our brothers and sisters till 17 turns into zero.”


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has voiced help for the march organizers’ efforts, saying in an announcement, “It’s crucial that, as a nation, we always remember to supply our help to the courageous women and men who’ve served our nation within the army.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (AP)

“We should put a better give attention to stopping veteran suicide and on supporting these courageous women and men after they return residence, which is why I’m so happy with the efforts of our scholar veterans embarking on Operation Iron Ruck,” Ivey stated. “Our army women and men put all of it on the road to make sure our freedoms, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. Alabama will at all times stand behind our veterans.”

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