Veterans 22 International Food Festival aims to help veterans with PTSD


By Raymond Mo

Veterans 22, a nonprofit at Carmel High School focused on supporting veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, is organizing a fundraising event in partnership with the Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation and National Guard.


The Veterans 22 International Food Festival will be from noon to 5 p.m. May 11 at the Carmel High School football stadium, on Smokey Row Road just west of Keystone Parkway. The free event will feature food trucks, family friendly activities, speeches by veterans and army vehicles from the Indiana National Guard.

During the event, Veterans 22 president Renuka Bajpai will present a $2,000 check to Brian R. Copes, CEO of HVAF.

“Twenty-two veterans commit suicide every day,” Bajpai said. “It’s really sad that our heroes that are helping to save our country and have done so much for us are struggling with PTSD.”

Bajpai hopes the event will not only lend a helping hand to local veterans but also promote community awareness of PTSD, a psychiatric disorder that occurs in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, according to the American Psychiatric Organization.

“I had a teacher last year who is my inspiration for starting the organization,” Bajpai added. “You would never be able to tell that he had PTSD. A lot of my friends didn’t even know what PTSD was.”

The goal of the event is to draw 2,000 people and raise $5,000. Along with online donations and on-site donation boxes, 10 percent of revenue earned from food trucks and game trucks will be donated. Proceeds will benefit local veteran homes and fundraisers. For more, visit

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