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Nearly naked veterans march to raise awareness about military suicides

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Dressed in minimal clothing and carry heavy packs, dozens of veterans and their families marched through Duluth to raise awareness for military suicides.

Roughly 75 veterans, active military members and their families marched from East High School to Canal Park for the Nearly Naked Ruck March Saturday morning, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

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The event, hosted by the 23rd Veteran, also raises money for the organization, which works to help veterans in Minnesota and Wisconsin transition to civilian life, and empower those with PTSD to lead successful, meaningful lives.

The group says 22 veterans take their own lives every day, noting the 23rd decided not to.

For every $10 raised, more weight went into marcher's packs, KBJR 6 reports. The event – which was the organization's first Nearly Naked Ruck March – raised roughly $10,000, the news station says.

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More on military suicides

The Department of Veterans Affairs published a report in 2013, finding 22 soldiers and military veterans take their own life every day in the United States. Since that report was published, additional reports have looked at military suicides. Here’s some of what’s been found:

  • The Washington Post provided some “missing context” for the 22 veterans a day figure.
  • PBS’ Frontline reported earlier this year on a study by JAMA Psychiatry, which found most soldiers who die by suicide were never deployed.
  • Another recent study, this one by the Annals of Epidemiology, looked at suicide among the 1.3 million who were on active duty during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, finding veterans “exhibit significantly higher suicide risk compared with the U.S. general population. However, deployment to the Iraq or Afghanistan war, by itself, was not associated with the excess suicide risk.”

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