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Mon Nov 11, 2019, 01:00 PM

They carry flags through Granite Falls to call attention to the crisis of suicide among veterans.

GRANITE FALLS ó The kids have their own reasons to run.

For Emma Graves, 12, itís a Navy veteran who lived with her family for eight years.

For Galen Kelly, 14, itís a father figure who served in the Navy, and an uncle who was in the Army, and great-grandfathers who fought in World War II.

For Joe Bagocki, 13, itís almost everyone in his extended family: aunts, uncles, grandparents.

This summer the kids learned the bleak statistic that an average of 22 veterans kill themselves each day, according to one U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs study.

So they decided to run with American flags, as their way of telling people about a mostly silent crisis. They call themselves Unit 22. On a recent afternoon in tiny downtown Granite Falls, 10 kids marched out of Omega Pizza waving flags. They split into groups, one for joggers and one for walkers.


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