“I think that's a big stigma too is that people think just because you were in combat then you might have PTSD. But it's not always the case -- you don't have to be in combat to get post traumatic stress," said Sergeant Zach Boyum.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can affect anyone who has experience a trauma in their lifetime. Every year, more than five million Americans experience symptoms of PTSD, but less than half actually seeks the help they need.
This Saturday, the community of Edgerton Minnesota worked to honor the life of one military member who battled this very real disorder. The community held a 5k fundraiser to help raise money for Wounded Warriors, all to honor Specialist William Davis.
Just over a year ago, Davis took his own life. Today his family is raising awareness about PTSD.
“He was one of a kind. He was a family man. He always wanted to be around the kids -- always family oriented,” said his wife Shawna Dickinson
In 2010, specialist William Davis was deployed to Kuwait. There, he was injured in a combat training exercise. At only 29 year old, Davis ended his life.
Saturday’s community event in Edgerton was a time to celebrate his young life.
“Williams wouldn't want us to be sad or anything like that. He'd want us to carry on and to go on and to be strong and to find strength out of this,” said his sister Jessica Potts.
The past year for Davis’s family has been full of ups and downs.
“After someone dies by suicide you’re just spiraling in your own little grief bubble and your family just sort of has to figure out where they fit back in again with that missing person,” said Potts.
Davis’ wife Shawna Dickinson says their three kids were his entire world. She says PTSD is more prevalent than people realize and it needs to be addressed.
“I think it's something that, our soldiers go over and they put their lives on the line for us and we should give back and make sure that they’re taken care of and they get the resources that they need and not get demoralized for having, maybe some issues from being over there and what they see,” said Dickinson.
Family members say there is a stigma that goes along with PTSD. Their goal is that one day no one will be ashamed they are suffering from it.