Local army veteran marches 18 miles to shed light on to veteran suicide
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – A South Bend army veteran spent the Fourth of July holiday strapping on his gear for the first time since coming home. Kyle Ingle planned an 18-mile walk in that gear all to help out the veteran community.
The reason behind the walk is one of Ingle’s best friends, who took his life about a year ago.
Ingle and Adam Campbell grew up together, joined the army and fought together. They even had matching tattoos.
Ingle says no one saw it coming when Adam took his own life last year. He had been back from the army for a couple of years. Ingle says one of Campbell’s passions was hitting the gym.
Now Ingle is refusing to let Campbell’s death be in vain. He says since losing Campbell, he has set a goal to not let another veteran become a statistic. He wants to bring awareness to veteran suicides.
While in the military, Ingle and Campbell did several ruck marches, which are long distance walks in full gear.
“We did a lot of walking and a lot of ruck marching, so I thought it would be kind of cool to connect on that level,” said Ingle.
Now Ingle is doing that march alone.
“I just wanted to do something to kind of connect with him…” said Ingle. “Because to me going to the grave, the grave isn’t Adam, but it’s the journey of getting there, that’s what I’m really focused on.”
Ingle started the ruck march from his home at 7 a.m. The 18-mile hike concluded in Walkerton at Campbell’s headstone.
But what started as an idea to connect with a friend, turned into something with a much bigger impact.
“I planned this ruck march for probably a couple days. It has a lot of symbolic meaning to me,” said Ingle. “I was like you know what would be cool is if we could raise some money behind this.”
So Ingle posted a photo of his gear on Facebook along with a post explaining his relationship with Campbell and his plan for the march.
He asked for donations to raise funds for Team Red, White & Blue. This organization is aimed at connecting veterans. There are local chapters helping to give veterans a sense of belonging after coming home.
“It creates that brotherhood, the bond and that community that we have in the military,” said Ingle.
Ingle said transitioning back into civilian life is difficult. He wants to bring awareness to the problems veterans face during that transition, including suicide rates.
“My focus is specifically veterans just because there is a massive lack of transitional training,” he said.
Ingle made it to his friend's headstone around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
There are a few ways to donate to this cause. Click on this link to donate electronically.
Ingle owns Healthy Happies in South Bend as well. He said you can drop of a check filled out to Team Red, White & Blue at their store. Donations will be accepted through the end of the week.