Advocates speak up about PTSD after Elk County Marine dies

Local News

Todd Parisi leaves behind a legacy for both for his military brothers and sisters and those he calls “Team Spartan”.

The 49-year-old was a Sergeant  Major in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served in Desert Shield and Iraq. He received honors including a bronze star.  

Retired Marine Sergeant Troy Schielein flew in from Michigan to be there one more time for Parisi. “I don’t think anybody will ever match the Marine Todd Parisi was, is, and will forever be,” adds Schielein.

While Parisi spent his civilian life helping others, he was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Parisi died last Thursday after a battle with the disorder. He was laid to rest a week later. 

“He was the most motivating person I’ve ever met in my life by far. He’s done more for this community in the short time he’s been back in a year and a half or so than I can remember anyone in my 50 years of living on this earth,” says Mike Wolfel.

Wolfel was a friend of Parisi’s he spoke Thursday in his memory.The last time Wlfel was on that same stage, was at his own son’s funeral. The Wolfel family lost him to PTSD. “I know it made an impact on serval marines. How could I not speak at Todd’s as well? I want to continue that information and if we can continue to save one more fellow marine here it’s well well worth it,” adds the military father.

Nearly 20% of suicides in the country are committed by veterans. Yet, those who serve only make up about 8% of the total population, according to the veterans affairs website. 

Those who knew Parisi says they wouldn’t want others to suffer as he did. “There’s always somebody there, he taught me that, to never forget how many people love you and you’re never alone in your fight,” adds Schielein.

Thursday a full military service was held with a 21 gun salute and taps. He will be laid to rest alongside those who gave their life to service at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from PTSD, please call 911 or contact veterans crisis line at 1-800-273-8255. There’s more information at the veterans affair’s website

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