Veteran Honoring Veterans in Central Pennsylvania

JERSEY SHORE, Pa. -- Later this month, veterans in central Pennsylvania will be walking to help raise awareness about suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A veteran from Clinton County is hoping his story will help others reach out for help.

It's been nine years to the day since Army veteran Alex Folmar from Lock Haven was in a firefight for his life.

"October 3, 2009, our combat outpost in Afghanistan got attacked," Folmar recalled.

Eighty soldiers, including Folmar, found themselves up against 300 insurgents.

"We ended up winning or so, but we ended up losing eight people."

Folmar came home safely but not without scars. Aside from back problems, he's been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Everything I used to like doing I didn't like anymore because my head was still back there pretty much," Folmar said. "I think people should talk about it because there are a lot of veterans that don't talk about it, and they end up committing suicide."

According to Folmar, around 20 veterans die by suicide every day.

It's why Folmar has invited the community to walk 22 miles on October 20 along the rails to trails starting in Jersey Shore.

Folmer plans to walk the trail with 22 pounds on his back in honor of those veterans who have died by suicide.

"It's also for anyone that has PTSD or knows anybody that suffers from it or somebody who has committed suicide."

Participants will end up in the Waterville area before they turn around and finish off the 22-mile stretch.

"Makes me feel good and hopefully makes other veterans feel good also because if they can see that I'm doing it, then they can reach out and let people know what's going on."

The event is free, but donations are welcome.

Folmar hopes to raise money for the Daniel K. Stein Mission. A veteran from Clinton County, Stein died by suicide last year. The nonprofit works to help raise awareness in honor of him.

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