SAVE22 hike raises awareness of suicide


Five hundred seventy three hikers walked a five-mile course in Carrollton May 7 to bring awareness to the number of veterans and active military personnel who commit suicide on a daily basis.

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Hikers walk along the five-mile SAVE22 course Saturday in Carrollton. Organizer Tom Indorf said 573 walkers participated.

Some walkers carried American flags, some wore badges in memory of family members/friends who committed suicide, others carried military gear and some even pushed babies in strollers. All had a common goal: put an end to the statistic of 22 suicides per day.

Tom Indorf, a local veteran who organized the event, was pleased with the turnout and is already planning an event for 2017.

“We were surprised and pleased with the turnout of walkers,” said Indorf. “We hope to double that number next year and add activities to the event.”

The event, known as SAVE22: 5 Mile Hike, started at the VFW Fighting McCook Post #3301 on Chase Rd. and wound its way through Carrollton to the county fairgrounds. Events were held at the fairgrounds throughout the day, including speeches from Fred Elber, a Vietnam veteran who spent five years in a prisoner of war (POW) camp, and Melissa Polen of Amsterdam, the mother of the late Sgt. Ryan Baker, who spoke on the effects veteran suicide has on families.

The event raised $3,700 which will be divided between the #22kill group and Fighting McCook VFW Post 3301.