3rd Annual Robert Cafici PTSD Awareness Benefit – Sunday April 13th

Mar 13, 14 3rd Annual Robert Cafici PTSD Awareness Benefit – Sunday April 13th

Robert Cafici of Oak Beach, NY  who lost 100 pounds in order to join the Marines, and served between December 2003 and March 2006, began struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while he was stationed in Iraq.

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Concetta Cafici said her son was particularly distraught after having to pull the bodies of two Marines from a Humvee that was immolated during an attack.  She said her son fell into a depression after receiving a less than honorable discharge when he was discovered to have used minor yet proscribed performance enhancers to bulk up as he prepared his mind and body for the rigors that awaited as he was again to be deployed to Iraq.  She said she persuaded him to get treatment at the Northport VA Hospital beginning in September 2006 after his anxieties worsened, and he began secluding himself in his bedroom at his parents’ home, but he continued to struggle with depression and anxiety.

In May 2007, he went into heroin-induced cardiac arrest at his parents’ home, according to their lawyer, Ray Negron, of Mt. Sinai.  Negron said Northport doctors indicated in Cafici’s records that they considered the overdose to be a suicide attempt.  Negron said Robert Cafici moved to Pennsylvania to get away from bad influences after the overdose, and to try to start a new life and a new business, though he continued to attend counseling sessions at Northport.  When Cafici sought treatment for jaundice at Lebanon, Pa., personnel there told him he was ineligible for care because of his discharge status, and that he would have to pay for care.  His mother said he called her as he left the hospital, and that she urged him to return to Long Island.

But he stopped at his apartment, where he took a fatal dose of heroin.

This story is but one of many as the men and women of our military return home from the war.  They are trained to fight, but not prepared to return, and often bring the horrors home with them.

On April 13th 2014, the 3rd Annual Robert Cafici PTSD Benefit, to be held at The Main Event in Farmingdale, will allow the Long Island community to remember Robert and all of those like him who have struggled and lost.  But the brighter side of this benefit event is that it is also a day of hope in which awareness of those who still struggle in their own minds is brought to the forefront. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is all around us, and Boots on the Ground NY is committed to ensuring that our Heroes receive the help they need.  The funds raised by this event will help BOTG-NY continue to expand programs directed at raising community awareness and direct veteran support, including anonymous veteran support groups, the maintenance of our newly-opened Veteran Activity Center, which serves as a place for veterans to find the camaraderie of their peers in a healthy environment, and our veteran outreach programs, such as our food pantry and furniture program.

Boots on the Ground NY and the family of Robert Cafici invite you to join us as we remember Robert and actively work for a brighter tomorrow.

$42 for advance tickets, $50 at the door, cash bar, drink specials, top of the line buffet.  Ticket costs are tax deductible, special group pricing available, ask about a VIP table.

All proceeds go towards assisting Veterans coping with PTSD.  BOTG-NY maintains a Veterans Activity Center which offers group meetings and sanctuary for Veterans.  The building also houses all Boots on the Ground NY programs, including Peer groups, 12 step meetings, yoga and breathing exercises, care packages processing, food pantries, and open houses for Veterans of all eras.

Robert Cafici was a Marine Combat Veteran who lost the battle with PTSD on December 18th, 2007. In 2012 his discharge was rightfully upgraded to an Honorable Discharge. In April of 2012 he was given Full Military Honors at his Memorial marker in Farmingdale. This is his legacy.

1 Comment

  1. Janice Mortati /

    My heart breaks every time I read a story like this. Too many of our brave men and women of the Armed Forces suffer from PTSD and don’t get they help they need. Thank you, Boots on the Ground, for helping these brave people. I attended my first fundraiser sponsored by Boots on the Ground and everyone is just awesome. My son also served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, therefore I know first hand the hardships they endure on their return home.

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