Columbia Vet Center holds 4th annual Steps and Strides Against Veteran Suicide Fall Festival

Watch WIS News 10 at 6 p.m. every Saturday.
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 123 veteran suicide death were reported in South Carolina back in 2019.

Today, to raise awareness of the issue, friends of the Columbia Vet Center hosted its 4th annual Steps and Strides Against Veteran Suicide Fall Festival.

The Columbia Vet Center’s Outreach Specialist, Robert Cash says this event is personal for him, as he has lost friends he served with to suicide.

“I lost friends in combat, and I get that it is hard to go back and forth from an adrenaline-based environment, retiring from the military, let alone, losing friends in combat, and then coming back to a normal world and just adjust,” Robert Cash said.

22 veterans lose their battles to post-traumatic stress disorder in America daily, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, so this year in honor of 2022, people attending Steps and Strides wore shirts that said, ‘We have 22 veterans to save.’

“We are trying to reduce that number. We are trying to do what we can to bring attention to it,” Cash said.

The festival is the only event of its kind in the state and is meant for veterans and their families to see they have resources and are not alone.

The Vet Center Director Sonya Campbell has been working with veterans for 13 years now and says suicide can be prevented.

“If we can work together in the community to get these veterans help. We can educate family members on how to get veterans help, then we are doing our job,” Sonya Campbell said.

Information about the new 9-8-8 crisis line was available for attendees, which serves as a 24/7 number for veterans, family members, and friends to call for help.

“For those veterans who may be afraid to reach out. We are here, and you are welcome,” Campbell said.

The New 9-8-8 Veteran Crisis Line is recognized as a national 3-digit-emergency number. And, if you are in need of help, visit

Notice a spelling or grammar error in this article? Click or tap here to report it. Please include the article’s headline.