Shining a light for those in the dark

SUBMITTED: Tech's Service Members and Veterans of America competed in the Little Rock Marathon 10k to raise awareness of suicide.
SUBMITTED: Tech’s Service Members and Veterans of America competed in the Little Rock Marathon 10k to raise awareness of suicide.

Through the cold and rainy streets of the Little Rock Marathon, Arkansas Tech University students of the Service Members and Veterans of America completed the course in record-breaking time of 1:41 minutes.

The students marched in unison raising awareness for veteran suicide.

The Tech students completed the 10k race while carrying over 45 pounds in rucksacks through the course. The members also carried American flags and banners that read, “Veterans don’t just die on the battlefield.”

According to the organization’s Facebook page, the members really enjoyed being part of something that turned heads for a greater benefit.

“It was an honor to be able to participate and help bring awareness to this issue.”

Members of the club are in the organization to help fellow veterans advance their education at Tech in a safe transitional way all while having the resources at SMVA provides.

Vance Morris, public outreach coordinator for SMVA, said he hopes the awareness being spread will bring attention to the real issues of vets coming back home.

“My goal as a public figure for this organization is to help shine that light on our organization and let Tech veterans know that this is a place where they can receive help and transition back into maintaining a life as a student in a beneficial way,” Morris said.

Several member of the SMVA are enlisted in the National Guard, Army Reserves, American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars — offering peer advising through the Veterans Affair (VA), Student Veteran Partnership.

Morris and his executive council of SMVA are currently planning to continue to spread awareness of veteran suicide in the local community at a free event in Russellville.

Bullets, Bluegrass and BBQ will be on April 18 and is free to the community and for all ages.

For any more information regarding the SMVA, visit its Facebook page.