Stand For Troops
The Westport Police Department Honor Guard
photographs by Bruce Plotkin
For troops serving on the front lines, and their families waiting eagerly at home, a safe return is the stuff of dreams. Yet for many soldiers, returning home is the start of another battle. A staggering number of returning solders—up to 35 percent—experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For these troops struggling with emotional turmoil, it is important to realize that they are not alone. Over 150 supporters attended the inaugural You Are Not Alone event, organized by Stand For the Troops (SFTT) and held at Mitchells in Westport. SFTT’s aim is to give a voice to troops struggling toward physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
The community came out in full force for the gathering, with contributions of food and beverages, as well as the efforts of student volunteers and musicians. Funds generated by silent and live auctions will support SFTT, which provides therapy, housing, transportation, and job training and placement for returning troops. The guest of honor was Maj. Gen. John Batiste U.S. Army (ret.), who delivered a stirring speech on the importance of community-based programs to combat PTSD. SFTT was founded in Greenwich in 1997 by the late Col. David Hackworth, America’s most valor-decorated soldier, and his wife, Eilhys England.