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Army veteran comes to Tallahassee in effort to hit every state capitol to raise awareness for veteran suicide

One man is driving thousands of miles to raise awareness about veteran suicide.
Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 10:42 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - 50 push-ups in 50 days in 50 states. One man is driving thousands of miles to raise awareness about veteran suicide.

Army veteran Darren Hafford is driving 13,000 miles to be at the Old Florida Capitol. In fact, by the time he’s done, he’ll have made it to every state capitol in the country.

Hafford is on a mission to do 50 push-ups at all 50 capitols in 50 days.

“I felt, you know, this is a time to bring it to the forefront and to let people know there is help out there,” Hafford said.

It’s all in an effort to bring awareness about veteran suicide rates, which CBS News reports has increased by 20% during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It shot back up when they’re not able to get the resources they need to exist,” said Joe West with Vietnam Veterans of America.

Usually, Hafford is only accompanied by Uncle Sammy, who has been riding dash and cheering him on during the push-ups. But on Thursday, he was joined by a couple of brothers in arms.

“I admire Darren for what he’s doing,” West said. “It’s an issue that most people don’t want to acknowledge is there.”

After doing his 50 push-ups, Hafford prepared to move on to his next stop, with only eight days left before he flies to Alaska then Hawaii to complete the task.

“I knew that there were a lot of veterans that had committed suicide, but to be out on the road and to meet their family and moms who want to hug you because of what you’re doing, I wasn’t expecting that,” Hafford said.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling, call the 24 hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.

For more on Hafford’s nationwide journey, click here.

An annual Tallahassee event for the same cause, the 22 to Zero Ruck, takes place in December. Organizers say they plan to announce this year’s date in the next few weeks.

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