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Bugler and dog on mission to raise awareness about suicide among veterans

A man and his dog are on a mission to honor veterans who committed suicide and raise awareness about service dogs. (NBC News)

Lon Hodge and his dog, Gander, are on a mission to honor veterans and raise awareness.

They have traveled to 39 states to play Taps on his bugle and read the names of 22 veterans who died by suicide.

"As best we know, 22 veterans take their lives every day," Hodge said. "I've said that most of us with severe anxiety disorder and PTSD, we carry suicide in our pocket. You know, like a coin we can cash in."

Hodge lived in that dark place until he met Gander, who helped him heal.

The bugler and his dog travel to cemeteries around the country as part of a campaign they call Fetch 22. The Pueblo native wants to spread the idea that veterans can be “brought back” through service dogs.

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