Bacon Brothers perform at veterans benefit

From left, actor and musician Kevin Bacon joined SFTT Chair Eilhys England and Purple Heart recipient Ben Richards for the event.

From left, actor and musician Kevin Bacon joined SFTT Chair Eilhys England and Purple Heart recipient Ben Richards for the event.

There were few if any degrees of separation between the Bacon Brothers, U.S. veterans, and supporters of Greenwich’s Stand For The Troops at the first annual DC Stands for the Troops benefit held Saturday, March 22, at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

For 15 years, SFTT, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit apolitical educational foundation has dedicated its resources to safeguarding the physical, mental and emotional well-being of America’s serving and returning frontline troops.

A highlight of the evening was when General Peter Chiarelli, US Army Vice Chief of Staff (Ret.) pinned the Purple Heart on Major Ben Richards US Army (Ret.) of Council Bluffs IA. Mr. Richards was awarded the Purple Heart for dozens of blasts, suicide car bombers and exploding IED’s underneath vehicles sustained while leading his Stryker Cavalry troop on missions in Iraq. His ‘invisible’ wounds caused debilitating Traumatic Brain Injury and cut short a promising military career. SFTT intervened to get him into a new treatment program at no cost.

“There is a tradition in the Army that you never leave behind a soldier,” said Mr. Richards. “SFTT is the personification of that.” Major Richards says that SFTT intervention saved his life and thanked Ms. England Hackworth and SFTT President Major Gen. John Batiste (Ret) for helping him reclaim his life.

Kevin Bacon called the first DC Stand For The Troops a powerful benefit and said he was honored to play music to bring awareness to difficulties facing veterans suffering with Traumatic Brain Injuries and Post Traumatic Stress.

Joining the Bacon Brothers and Buskin & Batteau for the evening were the Bucky Pizzarelli & Ed Laub Guitar Duo, Tom Prasada-Rao and comic star Jim Breuer.

With one in five Soldiers and Marines returning from Iraq and Afghanistan affected by combat-related PTSD and a shocking 22 Vets committing suicide every day, SFTT’s Rescue Coalition is focused on helping at-risk Veterans get the timely treatment they need to survive and transition back to their families, communities and pre-PTS lives.

The coalition works to remove the stigma by raising awareness, providing effective pro bono treatments, supporting other promising treatment protocols and establishing a modular pilot program for replication across the country.

To learn more about the PTS epidemic and what SFTT is doing for troubled Vets who “survived the rigors of war only to lose their way back home,” visit Sftt.org.

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