Vet running coast-to-coast for suicide awareness

Toby Flaget in process of running 3100 miles from Pacific to Atlantic

Toby Flaget is running from the Pacific to the Atlantic to raise awareness about suicide, June 4, 2015 (KOIN)
Toby Flaget is running from the Pacific to the Atlantic to raise awareness about suicide, June 4, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — If you see Toby Flaget running along the side of the road, you won’t be alone.

Flaget, a veteran who understands the issue firsthand, is running from the Pacific to the Atlantic in a quest to raise awareness about suicide.

“I’ve lost 7 buddies to suicide in the past 2 months,” he told KOIN 6 News as he ran through the area Thursday.

His own battle with suicidal thoughts began, he said, when he was put on medication for epilepsy and found himself with “a pistol in my mouth.”

But he got through it and decided to raise awareness about the issue of veterans suicide and suicide in general.

He said he is averaging about 25 miles a day, so he believes his coast-to-coast run should take “122 days.” A safety vehicle travels with him and on this day, he planned to meet the vehicle at the St. Johns Bridge.

“I don’t have all the answers,” he said. “That’s why I’m raising awareness.”

A website from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has more information about this cause.

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