The Aerospace Studies Student Organization will host Penn State’s first annual Freedom 5k For PTSD on November 12. Organized by cadets from the Air Force, Army, and Navy ROTC, the goal of the 5k is to raise $30,000 for The Lone Survivor Foundation.
Founded in 2010 by former U.S. Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell, who was on the SEAL team with Penn State alumnus Michael Murphy, the foundation’s name originates from Luttrell’s 2007 No. 1 New York Times best-selling book Lone Survivor. The foundation’s mission is to restore, empower, and renew hope for “wounded service members and their families through health, wellness, and therapeutic support.” When Luttrell returned from Afghanistan, he was able to recover at home with the support for friends and family. The Lone Survivor Foundation’s intent is to give other veterans the same type of environment that allowed Luttrell to heal.
“We want to make a real impact on the service members diagnosed with PTSD who still sacrifice every day for the freedoms we enjoy,” said Nicholas Pisciotta, the lead organizer of the event. “Our veterans cannot deal with this alone and we cannot help our veterans without Penn State’s help.”
The Center for Military Health Policy Research and the RAND Corporation estimate that at least 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD and/or depression, with 50 percent of those with PTSD not seeking treatment.
The 5k is open to any current student, alumni, or community member to participate in the event by either signing up to run in the race or to donate to the cause. The 5k will also sell a race t-shirt produced by Grunt Style, a popular veteran owned and operated clothing company.