The 3rd Annual Field of Heroes flag-posting last Oct. 7 at the American Memorial Park marks the start of an event that funds the treatment of veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to TanHoldings vice president for corporate affairs Cathy Attao-Toves, proceeds from the Field of Heroes event would be funneled to the Northern Marianas Humanities Council in their efforts to help those with PTSD. The event is hosted by TanHoldngs and its charitable arm, the Tan Siu Lin Foundation.
“It’s very important for us to remember all of our community heroes. The decision to serve is such a big decision and is a decision that [the public] takes for granted on several different occasions,” Toves said.
She cited a 2018 study from the University of Phoenix that, according to the study, 80 percent of firefighters report being exposed to traumatic events; over 90 percent of police and emergency medical technicians report exposure to trauma; 85 percent of first responders experience symptoms related to mental health issues; and 34 percent of EMT personnel report being formally diagnosed with PTSD, 10 times the rate of the general population.
These numbers are on top of the geographical challenges of the CNMI, Toves said, which makes it hard to access PTSD treatment here.
“With the alarming statistics and knowing that our location places us at a disadvantage in receiving additional support in resources for PTSD, we felt like this is an opportunity,” she said. “We are very thankful…and we are trying to find ways so we can contribute.”
On Saipan, the posting of flags was done yesterday at 8am at the American Memorial Park. The flags would be retired on Oct. 22, 2018. On Oct. 17, 2018, a Freedom Walk from Garapan Fishing Base to the American Memorial Park would be held, followed by the 9/11 ceremony at the site.
On Tinian, the posting of flags would be held today, and they would be retired on Oct. 27, 2018. The Freedom Walk, followed by the 9/11 ceremony at the site, would be on Oct. 23, 2018.
On Rota, the posting of flags would also be held today, and they would also be retired on Oct. 27, 2018. The Freedom Walk followed by the 9/11 ceremony at the site would be on Oct. 26, 2018.