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Carrying the fallen while raising awareness of PTSD

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
FORT HOOD, TX (KXXV) -

A group of veterans and soldiers are symbolically carrying the weight of fellow soldiers who've died at their own hands.

Twenty-two veterans take their own lives each day, and the soldiers and veterans walking from Fort Hood to Austin are making sure the fallen aren't forgotten. 

For most soldiers, returning home from a tour of duty is a dream come true, but for others, it's when the nightmare begins.

"He can't really sleep mostly at night. He has a service dog now and he doesn't like going out in public places," Pvt. Lucas Pityer said. 

Pvt. Pityer's cousin suffers from P.T.S.D. after a combat tour in Afghanistan. While his service dog helps him cope, sadly not all veterans or soldiers are able to ask for help.

"I had a buddy who just got out recently and he did take his own life. It hurts and we're out here showing him that people still care," Pfc. Tyler Eaton said. "People care about them no matter if they're in, if they're out, we're still here for them, it doesn't matter."

One way for Pfc. Eaton to honor friend's memory is by participating in the Active Heroes Ruck march. 

"I miss him and I'm hoping he's doing good up there, looking down on us, know that we're doing this for him," Pfc. Eaton added. 

Cody McCain is a veteran who battles P.T.S.D. everyday.

"The best way to put it is whenever I got back from Iraq, it's kind of like you leave a little bit of yourself there. You leave that inner kid inside you and it's kinda what I try find still," McCain said. 

McCain says the Active Heroes Ruck has helped him find his purpose again and wants people to know.

"If a veteran or active duty soldier talks to you, just listen. Don't give advice, just be there for them," McCain added. 

Rucks like the one that started on Fort Hood take place all over the nation. If you would like more information, want to sign up for a ruck near you or wish donate to the cause visit the Active Heroes website. 

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