HELENA — At Fort Harrison on Wednesday, the Montana National Guard conducted a "Ruck To Remember" as part of Suicide Awareness Month.
On average, about 22 veterans die by suicide each year in Montana. To remember them, the challenge of walking 22 miles for 22 hours was set by 1st Lieutenant Silver Beaty and her husband.
The event also featured a memorial, with rocks painted teal and purple, the colors of suicide awareness.
People wrote their loved one's name on the rocks. The rocks were then placed in rucksacks to represent the challenge that suicidal thoughts present and 22 candles will be lit for a vigil this evening.
The event also had groups available to remind people who may be struggling that there are many resources available.
"The significance is just to bring awareness to the people we have a memorial out here for soldiers, we've lost close friendships that we've lost. We're also honoring those that have survived that have made the decision to stay alive for now with us so we're just kind of bringing it all together and trying to make this organization a little bit more aware of how deep-seated it is within us,” said Beaty.
The Montana Suicide Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 or you can text “MT” to 741 741. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.