Every day, 22 veterans and one active duty soldier commit suicide.
Operation 23 to Zero, a non-profit started by local Minnesota veterans, is working to raise awareness about the suicide epidemic by placing combat boots of deceased soldiers on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul.
Twenty pairs will be added each day for five days until the steps are filled with 100 pairs of boots.
David Peters, founder of Operation 23 to Zero, hopes this unorthodox event will catch the attention of Minnesota lawmakers to improve the mental health resources available to veterans.
Families who have lost a veteran or an active-duty soldier to suicide are encouraged to participate by placing a photo of their loved ones next to a pair of boots or to donate a pair of shoes.
This free event will be open to the public from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, April 14.
STAR TRIBUNE STAFF