Marchers raise awareness of veteran suicide

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WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The 4th Annual Veterans Suicide Awareness March was held on Sunday, Nov. 10.

This year, the march left from the White River Junction Veterans Affairs Clinic, proceeded through West Lebanon, Lebanon and Hanover, N.H. to Norwich, Vt. and back to White River Junction.

The participants included several veterans, and the youngest participant (who marched more than 5 miles) was 5-year-old Rafael Johnson, whose father Steven Johnson is a medical student at Dartmouth College and was in the military for 11 years working with unexploded ordnance.

Next year, organizers hope to grow participation in the event and make it a relay, breaking up the 20 mile route into 3-4 mile sections. Participants will march their portion and then tap out, as someone else continues after them.

The plan is also to fund-raise for The Warrior Connection, a Brattleboro-based organization that holds retreats for veterans suffering with PTSD and other combat or trauma related issues.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the cause should call 802-338-6580.

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