A group of veterans will focus on the number 22 Saturday in Washington, D.C. as they hike to represent the the 22 military suicides that happen every day.
Irrevernt Warriors founded the Silkies Hike, where veterans and active duty military members hike 22 kilometers, or about 13 miles, carrying 22 kilograms, or almost 50 pounds, all while wearing silkies, which are combat boots.
Though the hike will take place in the nation's capital on Saturday, the group connects thousands of veterans from all over the country. The first hike this year started in Minnesota in April, and throughout the year hikes will take in many places, including New York City, Boston and Houston. According to their website, the last hike in 2017 will take place in Sausalito, California on December 9.
The group's mission, "is to bring veterans together using humor and camaraderie to heal the mental wounds of war," according to their website. And they try to prevent suicide by bringing veterans together and giving them a sense of community.
"Laughing in the midst of tragedy allows us to continue the mission without breaking down mentally ever day," they explain on their website.
Only veterans, activity duty military members, members of the national guard and reservists are able to participate in the hike, but others are able to volunteer.
Check out these related Circa stories:
This American military veteran went back to Vietnam and stayed there
A Vietnam veteran was honored by volunteers who repaired and renovated his home
Veterans want pot and more accountability as the VA battles the opioid epidemic