One year after Travis Snyder returned home from deployment in Afghanistan, a close friend from his task force died by suicide.
Snyder, 32, knew of the harrowing statistics of suicide among veterans, but his friend's death last April left him shocked.
"Before that, I read about it and had awareness but I didn't fully understand the magnitude that this epidemic has on people," Snyder told ABC News on Thursday.
There were more than 6,000 veteran suicides in 2017, with an average of 16.8 per day, according to the most recent data from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Snyder felt the need to help, so he came up with a plan: leave his job and apartment to start a mission to raise awareness.