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 $15 each
Hare said that he is proud of Rudd and his committee for their hard work. “It is good to seem them putting their passion into action.”