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Two enlisted Navy women raise funds for National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide

JENNIFFER GRANT/MADRAS PIONEER - Madras resident Kayla Vogt, left, and her friend Amanda Hartjes walked 25 miles on Veterans Day to raise awareness of veteran suicide. The women are in the Navy and on leave from Italy.

Kayla Vogt never got to meet her grandfather.

The U.S. Army veteran took his life before she was born.

On Veterans Day, Vogt made a 25-mile trek from Madras to her grandfather's grave at Gray Butte Cemetery to help raise awareness of veteran suicide.

"Mostly it was just kind of a fun test for me and my friend, but we both did it to raise awareness for veteran suicide and active duty suicide," Vogt said.

Vogt, of Madras, is in the Navy and stationed in Naples, Italy. She is on leave for a home visit and heads back to Italy next week. Her Navy friend Amanda Hartjes, from Manawa, Wisconsin, is also on leave and wanted to see the West Coast, so she came to Madras with Vogt.

The two began their veteran suicide awareness walk at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, along with some dogs. They reached their destination at 3 p.m. On social media, they asked for donations to support National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide.

PHOTO BY REVETTA VOGT - Amanda Hartjes, left, and Kayla Vogt walked from Madras to Gray Butte Cemetery to visit Vogt's grandfather's grave. The Army veteran took his life many years ago.Vogt said they received a lot of support during their walk along the back roads.

"We had people stop and talk to us along the way," she said. "We had a couple of our friends stop and bring us some food. My mom was running support all day, swapping out dogs, making sure we had food and water."

At last count, they had raised $100 for the National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide, and they encourage others to donate on the program's website, www.na2evs.org/.

Vogt said she wanted to make it clear to veterans that "there are people out there who would love to help. You're not alone."

National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide

Visit www.na2evs.org to make a donation to the National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide.

Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255, press 1


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