Pask, Football to Host Save a Warrior Fundraiser
DAVIDSON, N.C. — Sophomore safety Jaden Pask comes from a family who has made sacrifices and risks their lives daily. As the son, grandson, nephew, and friend of someone who risks their life without question every day, he lives his life by one rule; to serve for something bigger than himself.
He has seen the psychological, physical, and family scars that enter a veteran’s household after serving the United States and while his family has had the blessings of not dealing with the death of a loved one, many other military families have.
Leading up to Davidson football’s matchup against Presbyterian on Saturday, Oct. 16, Pask and the Wildcats will be hosting a fundraiser in conjunction with Save a Warrior to raise money and fight the epidemic that affects many of the people tasked to providing a future for their kids, grandchildren, friends, and family.
Save a Warrior is a veteran-led organization dedicated to providing a strong emotional system for active-duty military, returning veterans and first responders who feel alone after experiencing what many are unable to understand. The program works to help our nation’s heroes heal their deep wounds from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress. Their three-and-a-half day intensive integrative experience is the original, Warrior-led solution to the suicide epidemic among these communities. Warriors leave the 75-hour program with the pathway laid for a new way of life, and an entire community of support through an alumni network.
“Suicide is a very real problem within our military. The suicide rate for those that have served is 50% more than the national average,” Pask explained. “This is an epidemic plaguing those that have come back from risking their life for our country and those who have earned the right to keep it.
“Too often in America, we see heroes valiantly serving our great country day in and day out, to then return to apathetic methods of recovery that merely band-aid their deep mental wounds,” Pask said.
In partnership with this organization, ‘Cat Country can do their part in making sure the HEROES of today are not forgotten tomorrow.
Those who are willing and able to donate can pledge any dollar amount they wish for a variety of outcomes throughout the Davidson football season. This link will take you to the donation page.
Since Pask was in high school, he and his dad would brainstorm ways he could use his platform as a student-athlete to spread awareness about veteran suicide.
“It has always been in the back of my mind to start an initiative to help, but never felt that my message would travel further than my immediate family and local school district while in high school. Now that I am a junior at Davidson College – which has both an unbelievable alumni association, and arguably the biggest and most supportive fan base for football in recent program history – I see no better time to take my childhood ambitions and make it a reality,” Pask said.
“With my dad’s fourth military deployment in November, I am again reminded of just how much my dad and mom are sacrificing to allow me and my brother to, in their words, ‘be someone better than they could be’. While this is no easy task, I strive day in and day out to make them proud of who I am becoming.”
This type of initiative is one that has held a special place in Pask’s heart for quite some time. He has witnessed first-hand the damage of what harsh experiences in the military has done to families he says he has had the privilege of knowing through the military. Veteran suicide is a sickness that has plagued the United States for far too long and Save A Warrior is at the frontlines of this battle doing it right.
Save A Warrior was founded in 2012 in Malibu, CA, by Ronald “Jake” Clark, a U.S. Army Veteran and former LAPD Police Officer, Secret Service, and FBI Special Agent.
“As my hero goes and protects this country overseas representing the letters P-A-S-K; I too will fight while he is gone with those same four letters for those just like my dad and countless other brave fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, grandsons, granddaughters that are tired and need help seeing the light of a very long and dark tunnel.
“Our American Soldiers need us more than ever, and I will do anything in my power to ensure that the life they risked losing overseas, is saved back home,” Pask said.
Davidson football is proud to support the cause that Pask and Save a Warrior are working to fight.
“Our program could not be more excited about supporting Jaden and the Save a Warrior Foundation,” coach Steven Jackson said. “Jaden’s family and many other members of our program, campus, and community have a proud history of service to our country. We are looking forward to supporting and spreading the word of all the great work the Save a Warrior Foundation has done and continues to do.
“Our hope is that this campaign will help raise awareness and provide resources in the fight against veteran and active-duty military suicide and mental health.”
For more information, visit the Save a Warrior website HERE.