A 100-year-old veteran of WWII who met Phil Scott on Wednesday. A young Colchester soldier took his own life in 2014. These are their stories.
“On the Josh Palotta Fund website, his mother Valerie describes what happened after Josh joined the Vermont National Guard in 2009 and was deployed to Afghanistan: While my son was deployed they lost two of their brothers. Josh never really came home from that. He struggled with physical injuries (back issues due to being in mortars), and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS). On September 23, 2014 he lost his battle with PTS and ended his life.
Josh’s story does not end on that awful, tragic note. She continues:
Since then I have done a lot to raise awareness because I tell our story any chance I have the opportunity to. We are very open about how Josh died because we know we can’t help anybody else if we don’t tell our story. After Josh’s death, because of my work with Blue Star Mothers of Vermont, we started receiving a lot of donations. People wanted to do something to help. We were very thoughtful in what we wanted, what our Veterans needed. We talked to a lot of Veterans and from what we heard, we knew they really needed and wanted a place to just hang out and be with others who shared the same story.
So, we decided to develop Josh’s House VT which will be a wellness recreation center offering chiropractic care, massage, complementary and alternative healing modalities, a meditation room, a gym, video and game room, meeting and study rooms, a full kitchen for community dinners and cooking lessons, and more."