When you face a massive challenge in your life, how do you respond? One Hannibal veteran who was battling depression and PTSD decided to take his challenges and use them to benefit others by making walking canes for other veterans at no cost to them.

Mark Murphy of Hannibal was kind enough to stop by the radio station and present us a cane he made for our staff. He made it completely from scratch and even included our station logo at the end.

Townsquare Media
Townsquare Media

We spoke with Mark about how and why he started making canes over a decade ago.

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Mark served in the US Army for 25 years including two conflicts:

Mark Murphy - "25 years in the military, I served in Kosovo and Operation Iraqi Freedom".

That service led to horrible personal challenges for Mark and his family.

Mark Murphy - "Back in 2009, when I was suffering from massive depression, TBI and PTSD...I almost committed suicide...until my wife got help for me. I don't regret any of it to this day."

That's when Mark got the help he needed and began his project of making free walking canes for other veterans.

Mark Murphy - "Yes, I make them from scrap. I can take Christmas trees, cut the limbs off, make a cane, make hiking sticks. I carve out a morel mushroom on the top of the walking sticks for mushroom hunters who are veterans."

Over the years, Mark estimates he's made over 450 canes and will continue to do so. If you are a veteran or know a veteran who would like a cane, you can email Mark. His passion now is seeing the happiness in the eyes of those who receive his canes knowing he's helping someone else in the world and making a difference.

Mark is a special man who has overcome his challenges and is now doing a constant good for others and we are profoundly thankful for his kindness to us and his service of this great country.

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