Middlesex County News

"Cherish the Ladies": Get Your Irish on to Help Vets with PTSD

Cherish the Ladies in a PBS performance at Bucknell University Credits: you tube
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EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick's Veterans Post #133 joins Old Bridge's Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh in sponsorship of a festive gathering featuring Cherish the Ladies, an internationally-renowned Irish musical group, on Sunday, February 25 at the Joyce Kilmer American Legion Post #25 in Milltown.  The event is part of an ongoing fundraising effort on the part of EB's VFW to support relief for veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"22 people a day kill themselves in America because of PTSD, and that's why we are helping them," says Tommy Coohill of the EB Vets. "Last year we supported the Michael Dowen's 3-day walk from Washington DC to East Brunswick to bring awareness and provide financial support to this important cause."  Proceeds from the event will be directed to Unbroken Warriors. Unbroken Warriors was established to provide veterans that are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder the means to pursue effective residential treatment through various proven therapeutic techniques. Their goal is for all American war veterans to manage their PTSD symptoms and regain control of their lives.

According to the National Institute of Health, PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults, and can occur at any age. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and there is some evidence that the potential for the disorder may run in families.  PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or other anxiety disorders.  

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Members of the military exposed to war/combat and other groups at high risk for trauma exposure are at risk for developing PTSD.  Among veterans returning from the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, PTSD and mild to moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) are often linked and their symptoms may overlap. Blast waves from explosions can cause TBI, rattling the brain inside the skull.

The East Brunswick vets have made extensive efforts to support the men and women who are trying to reconnect with their lives after suffering combat trauma, and this concert is part of that ongoing program.  

The New York Times calls the music of Cherish the Ladies “passionate, tender, and rambunctious,” and the Washington Post praises their “astonishing array of virtuosity.” They’ve won recognition as the BBC’s Best Musical Group of the Year and were named Top North American Celtic Group at the Irish Music Awards and not to mention having a street named after them in the Bronx. They’ve collaborated with such musicians as The Boston Pops, The Clancy Brothers, the Chieftains, Vince Gill, Nanci Griffith, Pete Seeger, Don Henley, Arlo Guthrie and Maura O’Connell as well as being the featured soloist with over 250 nights of symphony orchestras. (website)

Cherish the Ladies will perform at 7:00 PM at the Post.  Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased in advance by calling Tommy Coohill at 732-254-8864.

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