HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – The Huntington community came together this weekend for an event to raise awareness for veterans during Suicide Prevention Month.

Representatives from the Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center were at the event at Ritter Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, to raise awareness and provide help and resources to veterans who are struggling. According to the medical center, suicide is a major issue among veterans across the country. They say between approximately 16 to 17 veterans die every day by suicide.

One community member who attended the event, Josh McCarty, says he has received help from the VA and knows the issue all too well.

“I was in the suicide program here with the VA, and they really pulled me out of a dark spot,” McCarty says. “and I just felt like I had to come out because there’s people that can’t come out and I could’ve been one of those people.”

The VA says anyone who’s currently struggling can reach out to them at 304-429-6755 or online. Those struggling and in need of emergency help can also reach out to 988 by call or text for 24/7, free and confidential help.