Liverpool Too often, veterans returning home from combat zones aren’t getting the support they need.
That’s especially true if they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), an often silent disability triggered by a traumatic event. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. While PTSD can happen to anyone who has experienced trauma, it’s particularly common in veterans; while it occurs in approximately 7 to 8 percent of the general population, 11 to 20 percent of Afghanistan or Iraq vets, 10 percent of Gulf War vets and 30 percent of Vietnam vets suffer from PTSD.
In order to support these veterans, a group of volunteers has organized a benefit called the Victory for Vets Country Music Festival to take place Aug. 16 at Sharkey’s in Liverpool. The proceeds from the event will go to Clear Path for Veterans, a nonprofit based in Chittenango that provides support for returning veterans, including peer-to-peer support, classes, service dogs and more.
Heather Graham, who organized the event along with Richard Carlesco, said the event evolved from an idea for a barbecue earlier this year.
“The original idea was to be a staff appreciation barbecue [that would] raise money at the same time for a veteran's organization,” Graham said. “Mr. Carlesco spoke with Bill Drace and Rich Lauber at B104.7 to see if they would support the event. They thought it was a great idea and a wonderful cause. Around the same time, while golfing in Chittenango, he stopped at Clear Path for Veterans with his cousin, Sean Lawless, who is a tech sergeant with the US Air Force and volunteers time at Clear Path to support local veterans. At that point, he decided that the money raised would go to this local charity.”
The event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 16, at Sharkey’s on Route 57 in Liverpool and will feature several popular local country acts. Gates open at noon; the first band starts playing at 1 p.m. The event includes food, drink and raffles. Presale tickets are $8, and tickets can also be purchased the day of the event for $10. Tickets are available at Sharkey’s, though their website at sharkeysbarandgrill.com, Clear Path’s website (Clearpathforvets.com) or by contacting Graham at 427-0749. Organizations or individuals that would like to donate in any way can contact Graham at 427-0749 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.