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50 push-ups, 50 states, 50 days: Man stops in La. to bring awareness to veteran suicide

50 push-ups, 50 states 50 days: Man stops in Louisiana to bring awareness to veteran suicide
50 push-ups, 50 states 50 days: Man stops in Louisiana to bring awareness to veteran suicide(WAFB)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 10:31 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Darren Hafford spent the night on Friday, August 13, doing push-ups on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol.

Baton Rouge is the 41st state capital he’s visited as a part of his mission to visit all 50 state capitals, doing 50 push-ups in 50 days.

Hafford says his journey is an effort to raise money and awareness for veteran suicide.

“Sometimes we think we can pick up on things and we completely miss them,” said Hafford.

Seventeen veterans die from suicide each day in the U.S., according to the 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Report.

Hafford spoke about a time he lost a fellow comrade during his time as a reporter in the military.

“He was a lifer, squared away soldier, great guy, did a great interview, took his picture, and three weeks later he committed suicide. My commander came in and told me and I was just stunned because I couldn’t believe that guy that was such a great soldier was suffering,” said Hafford.

More than 10,000 miles later, Hafford found himself at the steps of the Louisiana state capitol. He was also coupled by a few brothers in arms that heard about his journey.

“I don’t think there’s any veterans out there who hasn’t committed suicide,” said James Roy.

Roy is over the Marine Corps League in Baton Rouge. He believes one reason why a lot of veterans lose their way is that they lose a sense of purpose.

“Marines need a mission, they have a purpose, and if it’s one thing they do it’s carry out a mission,” said Roy.

Hafford hopes he can save at least one life, one pushup at a time.

“I’m just hoping that this mission lets people know that it’s help out there, it can save your life and it can change your life,” said Hafford.

Hafford’s next stop is Jackson, Mississippi.

For more information on his fundraiser, click here.

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

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