PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (WSVN) — Bikers in South Florida put the pedal to the metal, Sunday, to bring attention to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Supporters for the third annual PTSD awareness ride in Pembroke Pines honored Lance Corporal Janos Lutz, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It’s a memorial ride for my son, but it’s also to raise awareness in the community about the more than 104,000 veterans who have taken their lives since the War on Terror began,” said Janine Lutz, the event organizer and mother of Lutz.
Lutz suffered from PTSD and took his life in 2013. He served in the front lines in both Iraq and Afghanistan. “I wish I had these tools now, maybe my son would be alive,” said his mother.
The motorcycle ride and motorcade stated from Northwest Second Street and International Parkway to Flamingo Road and Pines Boulevard. Several hundred people joined the event, with the goal of raising $10,000. “It’s just a way to support our veterans, as they protect, serve and save us, we try to give back to them,” said attendee Tony Sorrels.
The funds raised will help support Lutz’s foundation, which started a buddy-up program. It connects veterans so they can help each other cope with the challenges of PTSD. “It’s the next best thing to the guys I served with that I can’t see every day,” said participant Brian Lupo
“We have to fight for those who fought for us. Look at these guys behind me. They’re beautiful,” said Janine Lutz. “They fight for our freedom and people don’t realize what our freedom costs.”