Two veterans kayaking Mississippi for suicide awareness stop in Dubuque

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) It was a long day out on the river for these two.

Logan and Jeff Hastings kayak on the Mississippi River Wednesday, June 7, 2017. (Allison Wong/KCRG-TV9)

"We are here in Dubuque today tired but strong and have been supported by a lot of folks," Jeff Hastings said.

Dubuque is just one of a number of stops Hastings and his son, Logan, are making along the Mississippi River. Along the 2,358 mile journey, they're working to raise money and awareness for veteran suicide.

Jeff Hastings said, "Statistics say that over 22 veterans everyday commit suicide. That's uncalled for and we want to do something to wake up our country and to help stop that."

They have a non-profit organization called Warrior 180 Foundation. They travel around the country to help veterans who are experiencing suicidal thoughts and having a hard time adjusting to civilian life.

"They don't get the help they need and that needs to change, so that's why we're doing this," said Logan Hastings.

As veterans of the US Army, this topic hits close to home for them.

"We both lost buddies that we loved and cared about," said Jeff Hastings.

Logan Hastings adds, "I had many problems when I got back but luckily I had a good support group and I got help so now I'm trying to return the favor that, you know, the guys helped me, now I want to help."

And he decided to take on the Mississippi because he knew it would not only be physically challenging, but mentally, as well. He says despite his sunburn and aching limbs, the journey is worth making.

The Hastings say people who wish to donate can at their website,

 www.warrior180.org/