As seen in
the Miami Valley News
PIQUA — The rivalry between sports teams whenever Piqua and Troy teams face-off is long-standing and intense.
The upcoming boys’ basketball contest at Garbry Gym in Piqua will be no different, but only while the clock is running. On Feb. 10, the two schools will set aside the rivalry and join on a united front to honor our country’s Armed Forces veterans and to call attention to an even older “rivalry” … the battle against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) … a common, but often not discussed, condition often facing combat veterans.
The event is the brainchild of
Piqua student Trenton Rudd. Rudd approached PHS Athletic Director Chip Hare who
immediately embraced the idea.
Rudd’s research into PTSD led him to some interesting insight. On Thursday, Rudd, Hare, and several others met with Sidney resident John Looker, a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War.
Looker is well-qualified to
discuss PTSD and its long-term affect. He served as a member of the First Cavalry
Division in Vietnam in 1968-69. While there, he earned three Bronze Stars
(V-device for Valor), two Purple Hearts, and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Looker returned home with, like
so many others, a long-term case of PTSD. He fought his demons for more than 35
years before seeking help.
Today, Looker shares his story
with others, partly as therapy and mostly to raise awareness in hope that his
story might save another life. That motto is the mission of the Save A Warrior
program who Rudd has chosen as the recipient for donations from his efforts.
To purchase T-shirts to support
the Save A Warrior fundraiser for the game, Contact either the Piqua High
School or Troy High School Athletic Department. Shirts are also available at
the Piqua City Schools Board of Education Building on Looney Road. The cost is
Hare said that he is proud of
Rudd and his committee for their hard work. “It is good to see them putting their passion into action.”
As seen on 2 News
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Last month, 2 NEWS’ Kelley King introduced you to a group of teens who are helping to support an important cause: Raising money for veterans suffering from PTSD.
Students from both schools sold t-shirts weeks ahead of the Piqua
vs. Troy basketball game that was held tonight to benefit the cause.
The Piqua student and organizer behind the cause, Trenton Rudd,
said that he started the fundraiser after doing research for a school project
and learning that many veterans struggle with PTSD.
“I found out that the transition from a life of service to a traditional American lifestyle in the United States is very difficult for them,” Rudd said.
“I did some research, and I learned that the reason for it is PTSD. Veterans are a big part of my life. I have family members that are veterans, and it’s just great to see I can help them out. That’s the reason why I’m doing it.”
At tonight’s game, fans, cheerleaders and players from both sides all wore the fundraiser t-shirt, showing support for veterans.
Troy’s Assistant Varsity Coach, Nnaemeka Anene, who happens to have a twin brother in the military, said the cause is near to him and he is thankful that they got a chance to support, even though Troy and Piqua are rivals.
“I think it’s a major thing that we’re able to come together, wear these shirts during the game and support our troops and our veterans. I think it was a great idea, and I’m happy that we were able to make it happen despite all the circumstances that today holds,” Anene said.
Before the night began, Rudd and his group had raised around 12 thousand
dollars, with a goal of being able to make it to 15 thousand by the end of the
The money the students raised will be donated to ‘Save a Warrior’, helping veterans. By simply selling t-shirts, Rudd also reached another goal, which was informing people about the issue.
“First, I just want to spread awareness to PTSD,” Rudd said. “But my hope is that people understand that it’s a problem. And I know, I understand that it’s difficult to talk about, but maybe quit overlooking it so much. If you are a veteran, you need to go out and seek help.”
Way to go Trenton
Rudd, Landon Lawson, & Nathan Buecker!