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Marine completes walk around Lake Michigan for veteran suicide awareness

Travis Snyder walked hundreds of miles, hugging the Lake Michigan shoreline, to bring attention to the issue of veteran suicide.

MANISTEE, Mich. — Travis Snyder walked over 800 miles around Lake Michigan over the past month. Sunday, his journey ended in Manistee. It took 42 days. 

Snyder, a Marine veteran, embarked on the journey at the end of August. He served as a U.S. Marine from 2012 to 2018. 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that 20 veterans die every day by suicide. Snyder worked with Mission 22, a non-profit that helps veterans and their loved ones combat PTSD and suicide. 

Snyder started the walk in Manistee and traveled north through Mackinaw City into Wisconsin, south through Illinois and back north through Indiana. He ended the experience back in Manistee Sunday afternoon. A crowd of people joined Snyder on his final mile, which went west on Merkey Road and north on Cherry Street, ending at Lighthouse Park. 

EARLIER: Marine to walk around Lake Michigan raising awareness about veteran suicide

A Facebook page called "Veteran Suicide Awareness: Travis Hikes Around Lake Michigan" gathered nearly 3,000 likes during the trip. Snyder would post daily updates, including photos of where he was walking, how many miles he had completed and other news. This tracking made it possible for people to join Snyder during various miles on the walk. 

The page also became a small community, where people could post encouragement for Snyder. One person thanked Snyder for his efforts because her brother recently died from suicide. 

Snyder also found a wandering kitten on the journey. He named it Gulliver. 

This is it. 810 miles around Lake Michigan. Six weeks ago I quietly took off from Manistee, Michigan, embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. I didn't advertise what I was doing, I didn't ask...


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