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Published on June 15, 2024
Marion County Rallies for PTSD Awareness with Annual Walk/Run Event Honoring Veterans and First RespondersSource: Marion County

Marion County has proclaimed June as National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month, and on June 27, 2024, at 8:00 a.m., the community is rallying for a good cause. The annual 2.2-mile PTSD Walk/Run, coinciding with National Teal Out Day, invites locals to lace up their sneakers and show solidarity for those affected by PTSD. Organized to initiate conversations and aid in removing the stigma surrounding the disorder, the walk/run will take place at the McPherson Governmental Campus Wellness Trail. The event not only spotlights the struggles associated with PTSD but also commemorates the roughly 22 veterans who tragically end their lives daily due to this invisible affliction, according to Marion County officials.

Leading this year's event is centenarian World War II veteran Howard Mautner, who served as an air traffic controller in Europe. He will be joined by members of local first responders, including Marion County Fire Rescue and Ocala Police Department, many of whom will wear their full gear throughout the run. Marion County's efforts to support anyone struggling with PTSD include offerings from food trucks and water stations during the event, along with vendors providing critical resources.

Teal, the chosen hue of PTSD awareness, will prominently feature at the event, with participants encouraged to don the color in support. Teal shirts and tumblers are on sale to raise funds for organizations dedicated to supporting individuals with PTSD, such as the Fire Rescue Support Fund and Veterans Helping Veterans. These items are available for purchase through the end of the month for $22, and all proceeds go to the partnered local nonprofits, as stated by Marion County's announcement.

The emphasis on solidarity extends beyond physical participation in the walk/run. Marion County urges citizens to actively engage in conversations surrounding PTSD, providing support to those grappling with its effects. Resources and educational materials have been highlighted throughout June via social channels like social media, ensuring information and support are accessible. By shedding light on these invisible wounds, the community aims to foster a more inclusive and understanding environment where treatment and open dialogue are encouraged.

Tampa-Community & Society