November 04, 2011 Slideshows » News

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Veteran Suicide (Slideshow) 

Rebecca Townsend
Ron Zaleski, walking barefoot, raising awareness.
Rebecca Townsend
Zaleski walked Meridian Street near Second Presbyterian on Nov. 3, sharing his message while in town to speak at the Reel Hope Film Festival.
Rebecca Townsend
Ron Zaleski has walked across the country and the Appalachian Trail carrying a sign about vet suicide. He's been barefoot since 1972 when death and guilt related to Vietnam pushed him to take a stand for soldiers and their families.
Rebecca Townsend
Zaleski stops at local churches to see if they're interested in hosting a discussion on raising awareness in other ways.
Rebecca Townsend
Zaleski prepares to try his luck at St. Lukes. He did not receive any support during his stop at Second Presbyterian.
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Rebecca Townsend
Zaleski took an opportunity to meet Congressman Andy Jacobs Jr., retired D-IN, during his visit. Here he sits in Jacobs' home.
Rebecca Townsend
Congressman Andy Jacobs, D-IN, retired, signs for Zaleski a copy of his book "The 1600 Killers: A Wake-Up Call for Congress." In the book, Jacbons upbraids jingoistic legislators willing to declare war without having served the armed services during wartime.
Rebecca Townsend
Zaleski's placard gets a rest while he visits with Congressman Jacobs.
Rebecca Townsend
Soon, he'll be carrying his message to the House Armed Services Committee.
Rebecca Townsend
Zaleski wants to see mandatory anger/grief training and post-release counseling for vets and their families.
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Rebecca Townsend
Suicide is just one manifestation of society's vet-related burden. High percentages of the homeless and incarcerated populations are also vets, he notes.
Rebecca Townsend
In ways, the mission is Zaleski's own personal cross. He places himself in God's hands and hopes that he will forgive himself the guilt he still carries related to Vietnam.
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Rebecca Townsend
Zaleski's placard gets a rest while he visits with Congressman Jacobs.
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