Father, son kayak down the Mississippi River for veterans

Father, son kayak down the Mississippi River for veterans
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)
(Source: Mike Mohundro, KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A father-son duo are paddling their way down the mighty Mississippi to raise awareness for veterans suicide.

Jeff and Logan Hastings put in at Itasca Lake, Minnesota and are kayaking the 2,358 mile journey to the Gulf of Mexico in an effort to bring awareness to the 22 Veterans that die by suicide every day.

They started their journey on May 1, 2017.

"I've been in the place that they were. I know how they're feeling. Luckily I got help," Logan said. "So I wanted to give back and help save some of my buddies but I didn't want to just save one life or two. I wanted to save as many as I could."

Logan Hastings is a purple heart recipient and served two combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"I have lost a couple friends from suicide after our deployment and I wanted to do something tough that would put myself in their shoes," he said.

His dad, Jeff, joined the Army in 2009 and served as a battalion chaplain in Iraq/Kuwait from 2010-2011.

"We both had buddies that have taken their own lives and we see constantly folks who are going without assistance and without help," Jeff Hastings said. "So Logan came up with the idea, 'Hey dad, why don't we kayak the entire length of the Mississippi River to wake our country up? To help Veterans and to raise awareness and to raise funds to do suicide intervention.'"

Jeff founded Warrior 180 foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention to military, veterans, and their family members suffering from PTSD, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

The pair reached Cape Girardeau on Monday, June 26.

"This is probably one of the hardest things I've ever done," Logan said. "It's like going to the gym every day for 12, 14 hours a day. Just sitting there paddling."

All of the money raised through their Kayak for Veterans trip will go directly to Warrior 180. You can also donate through their website.

You can follow their journey down the river on Facebook.

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