Colleen Grady Principal
Education Committee Chair
Walk With Frank Inc.
Frank seeks to educate the public, especially young people, about the impact of PTSD on the lives of veterans and their families. Such education is necessary to get veterans the care they need and to help prevent the overwhelming impact of PTSD on future generations who will serve our nation.
Through “Walk with Frank,” we will mobilize the efforts of high schools and colleges throughout the route of Frank’s walk. Students will be motivated to raise awareness in their schools by enlisting other students through social awareness and veteran clubs to raise money and participate in the walk with Frank on the specific dates Frank is in the area of the schools.
I will reach out to movers and shakers in schools who will organize the students to participate in the walk. Identifying the “movers and shakers” will be through personal and networking contacts. Also, I am researching internet postings to see who is always involved in such ventures.
I am in the process of identifying stakeholders in Broome County who will participate in the awareness campaign and in the walk. My cousin, Cathy Cornue Pittman lives and works in the Diocese of Syracuse, which encompasses Binghamton. She has pledged support and has said it is a “privilege” to help with this project. She has substantial contact at LeMoyne College, the Diocesan Catholic School Office, the Faith Formation Office (where she just retired from after many years) and the Social Justice Committee for the Diocese of Syracuse. She is in the process of reaching out and will be back to me soon.
Binghamton University is located along or near the route and I am reaching out to specific clubs and organizations that may be interested in joining the campaign. I identified the following club and have emailed them (don’t have a specific person yet) to see if they are interested:
Veterans Student Organization (VSO)
4400 Vestal Parkway East
Veterans Lounge, CIW
Vestal, NY 13850
What I learned is that there many young veterans leaving the service and going to college. This organization is comprised of both students and faculty members who have served in the military.
My cousin Larry Pittman lives in Albany and served in Viet Nam as a medic. He suffers from PTSD and has done work in past years with homeless veterans in a shelter in Albany. He is willing to contact them. He said the following: “I work with some Vietnam Vets in the VA. But they are covered with treatment. The problem is reaching out to Vets that have not come forward for treatment that they need.” He suggests the Albany VA, where he has contacts. He offered to have Frank stay in his home while in the Albany area. Larry asked that Frank call him.
At Walt Whitman High School, I have started to speak about the project and enlist specific teachers and students to help. For example, a business teacher is going to have her National Business Honor Society help in marketing the campaign as a service project. She will also have her marketing class work on a project specifically dealing with Walk With Frank.
I am also thinking that we can tap into Boy Scout Troops who have members interested in doing Eagle Scout projects or earning membership badges. Troop contacts are available online and email contacts and snail mail mailings can be conducted to gain interest. I have personal contact with troops connected to the high school and will personally reach out.
I will update you on developments as they arise. Please let me know what you think of my proposals.