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60-year-old vet marches from Toledo to Ann Arbor for veteran suicide awareness

Kelly Haskin is making the trek across state lines with a military backpack as part of the Ruck March, and to raise money for the Stop Soldier Suicide program.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Veterans Day is Friday, and 60-year-old Toledo veteran Kelly Haskin is walking 50 miles with a military backpack across state lines to Ann Arbor as part of the Ruck March to raise awareness for veteran suicide.

The march was created to call attention to veteran suicides in the U.S. and the resources created to help a veteran in need. Along with raising awareness with the march, Haskin is also helping raise money.

"It should support programs primarily with counseling and with outreach, so it goes just to help with assistance with these young military members that needed help,” Haskin, a retired Toledo Army Sergeant First Class, said.

Haskin began marching at 4 a.m. Tuesday. He began at the Department of Veteran Affairs on South Detroit Avenue in Toledo and will end his trek at the Department of Veteran Affairs in Ann Arbor.

Along the way, he wants to raise awareness about the issues veterans may be facing.

Haskin also worked as a veteran nurse and said in his experience, what veterans need most is an alert person willing to listen.

"Look for changes in their patterns, just see if they are reaching out through actions with other people as well," Haskin said. "Sometimes it's covert, it's hidden, it's under the skin. You don't see it and you just really have to be a good listener pay attention and see what's going on with that person."

Haskin is currently holding a fundraiser for the Stop Soldier Suicide program and said he has raised over $1,000 this week.

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