MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

March 11, 2014

Pair’s Hike for Heroes a worthy cause

Every day, 22 veterans commit suicide, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

An area father and son team aim to make the number 22 notable for another reason.

Kevin Steele, 45, and his son, Hunter, 19, of Eufaula, are planning to hike the approximately 2,200 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail to raise $100,000 for Active Heroes, a Louisville, Ky., organization which focuses on suicide prevention among veterans, Steele said.

The duo’s goal is to get 5,000 people to donate $22 each, which works out to a penny per mile, he said.

Their journey starts March 17. They’ve been preparing for about four years. Last year, they decided to make it a fundraiser.

These two should be commended for their upcoming efforts.

Kevin Steele said the trip started off as a father-son adventure of a lifetime.

“We rolled it into a charity for those bad days on the trail, when you just want to quit and go home,” he said. “Those are the days that it’s not about us: Put your backpack on and let’s go.”

Active Heroes said its retreat is developed, designed and built by veterans and their families to help veterans and their families. The Active Heroes retreat will help with post traumatic stress disorder and suicide prevention by teaching veterans and their families to heal through physical therapy activities and mental therapy classes.

This is a worthy cause, and if you think so as well, follow the Steeles on their journey and donate.

You can help

To donate, go to www.HikeForHeroes2014.org.

Kevin and Hunter Steele’s blog from their hike on the Appalachian Trail also will be posted on the website.

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