For many veterans and current military men and women...sometimes their service to our country can come with unfortunate consequences, not just physical injuries, but mental ailments as well. Treatment and transition back into society can be taxing and costly but Saturday Troy University's Panama City group of Alumni and Friends held a fundraiser to do what they can to help.
Close to 50 people took part in Saturday morning’s 10K race from the city pier to the county pier. Participants left from Sharky’s Restaurant and paddled to the city pier before turning around and making their way to the county pier.
"We like to give back to the community first and foremost,” said Panama City Troy Alumni and Friends President, Philippe Asselin, “to do something fun to get folks out of their living rooms and off their couches."
Money raised from the event will be going to three charities this year, one of them being the Wounded Warriors Project.
"They get shot out they have IEDs explode at them they lose their best friends, there's a lot of stories out there and some of these folks come back and they don't come back the same way they left,” said Asselin. “When you meet some of these folks and you hear their story they move you and that's why we choose to get involved."
For Shane Manuel, a veteran returning from Afghanistan, events like this are a welcomed sight. "It's good actually, you have a lot of organizations that get together and raise money for veterans like myself,” he said. “It's really good feeling that people do that."
In addition to the Wounded Warriors Project, money raised also went to Standup Paddle Board for Veterans and the Troy Alumni Scholarship fund.