'Battle of the Branches' run in Phoenix helps veterans with mental health support, resources

Rally Point Arizona held a "Battle of the Branches" event at Steele Indian School Park on Oct. 2, and the goal was to provide veterans with mental health support and resources.

"Families and veterans can come together to acknowledge this is something that impacts our community and bring together resources," said Luis Soto, clinical coordinator at Rally Point Arizona.

Susanne Salem is an Air Force veteran and was in Operation Desert Storm.

"Bring awareness to the fact so many of our veterans are lost after they leave the service, and they're committing suicide, and we want to be there, be a part of the solution," Salem said.

She knows what it's like trying to continue life back home, after spending years in the service.

"When I got out after Desert Storm in 1992, it was like, what do I do now? It was like I can't go back to being a civilian because my brain doesn't work the same way, I've been in a battle zone, I've held somebody's back," Salem said.

Each runner at the event had some connection to the military.

They sign up and are sorted into a military branch. Either the runner or one of their family members has served in that branch.

"For me, my grandpa was in the Navy, so I signed up for the Navy. It's good to do for a good cause," Matt Larson said. "Plus, I love to run."