VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- A Marine Corps veteran arrived in Virginia Beach Saturday afternoon after completing a 222-mile hike from Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Stephens ended his hike today at Neptune's Park.
Shane Stephens is a member of "End 22", a group whose goal is to "bring awareness to the 22 vets and 1 active duty we lose per day to the hidden wounds of war," according to the group's Facebook page.
Stephens started his journey the week after Thanksgiving to bring awareness to suicide rates among veterans, youth and first-responders, a Virginia Beach city official told 13News Now.
The "End 22" project was started by Bill "Chico" Ciccone, a Virginia Beach man.
Ciccone lost his son, Sgt. James Ciccone, in 2012 to PTSD and depression after his son came home from a deployment to Iraq. That's what inspired Ciccone to start End 22.
When Stephens arrived at the statue, the community cheered him on to the finish line. Congressman Scott Taylor, Virginia Beach Fire Department, and veterans were all inspired by the ambitious walker.
Stephens told us, "I'm just here to try to get the message out. That you know if you're struggling there's hope."
In his Facebook post accompanying the video below, Stephens said: "These Last 22 miles are Dedicated to Christopher and his family left behind."
On November 30, 2017 Christopher Lim took his life at Salem High School. He was a student there. That was the same day that Stephens started his journey.
The 17 year-old's mother was at Neptune's statue when Stephens arrived. She gave him a new cap with Christopher's name in her son's favorite color, as a gift to thank Stephens.
"Our Prayers go to his family and always remember. You ARE NOT ALONE in this journey," said Stephens.
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