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Pi Kappa Alpha hits the gym for vets

April 12, 2018

 

ASHLEY LAMBERT

Staff Reporter| apl007@latech.edu

 

Many people workout to benefit themselves, but April 7, Louisiana Tech’s Pi Kappa Alpha chose to hit the gym with others in mind. The fraternity teamed up with Ruston Crossfit to host Challenge XXII and show their love and support for the country’s veterans.

 

Challenge XXII was started to raise awareness of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and the unusually high rate of suicides in the veteran community. The event’s title represents the 22 veterans lost to suicide each day.

 

Matthew Pagan, a member of Pi Kappa Alpha, said military personnel are important to all, and he hopes everybody shows them proper respect and gratitude by participating in philanthropic work that could assist in the betterment of their well-being.

 

“For the past two years I have been in charge of putting together our fraternity’s philanthropic activities, and both years we have participated in something related to our veterans,” he said. “Last year was with Heroes Sports and this year with Challenge 22.”

 

Pagan said the decision to use Pi Kappa Alpha’s philanthropy events to support veterans stemmed from his personal connection to the cause.

 

“I chose veterans groups because I’m a veteran myself, and I’ve had many of my fellow Marine succumb to suicide,” he said. “So it was a subject I really hold dear to myself.”

 

Also represented at the event was Family Counseling Center’s USA ReBoot Resort Program, which is under the umbrella of LA United Methodist Children and Family Services, Inc.

 

Pam Cannon of ReBoot Resort said the program’s mission is to provide adventure-based events that offer new tools to combat stress, post-traumatic stress disorder and other invisible war wounds.

 

“The experiences gained by our programs are not only improving mental health and emotional health, but also helping recharge and rediscover yourself,” she said.

 

The camps are week long and free to veterans, and their tactics are proven to treat symptoms of PTSD.

 

“Helping veterans and their families are important to us,” Cannon said. “They represent the best of America and we are honored to give back to those willing to defend our country.”

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