Eau Claire AMVETS March to Raise Awareness of PTSD

Globe University graduate, Salvador Fuentes is passionate about raising awareness for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. A veteran himself, Sal is working to spread the word about the disorder. Salvador is one of nine participants who completed a 22-mile march this month to help raise awareness for PTSD and help support those veterans who are currently suffering.

Military Dog Tags on American Flag and fatigues

The Eau Claire AMVETS post 654, who organized the march, was started here in Eau Claire and meets regularly at the Globe University Eau Claire campus. This is part of the University’s commitment to giving back to the community, by offering free use of available rooms to community members, including the AMVETS.

Globe University student, Michael Hanke, veteran and member of the Bloomer AMVETS chapter, sat down with me to explain why the event was so important. He said, “The event was designed to help raise awareness of both PTSD and veteran suicide. The Eau Claire chapter organized and executed the event in only six weeks, quite an accomplishment.”  He also went on to describe how Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson’s Aid and former Senator Dave Zein both spoke at the event. Congressman Sean Duffy’s aid was also in attendance and participated in the march.

PTSD March blog pic

Participants in the march stand proud in support of PTSD awareness

Each participant marched for nine hours and some even completed it with rucks on their backs, weighing between 30 to 40 lbs.  The march took place on HWY 128 in western Wisconsin, recently renamed the 128th Infantry Memorial Highway in 2013, an initiative headed by Hanke.

Salvador was able to complete the entire 22-mile march with the assistance of his service dog, which he uses as an important part of his own PTSD treatment.  Salvador is currently training other service dogs to assist other veterans in need.

“The event was so successful that we are looking to hold another event in October.” Hanke said.  Mike’s goal is to not only increase participation, but also offer varying distances, so that veterans and participants of all physical abilities can participate.