In an effort to help former servicemembers, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto has established a foundation to provide veterans in Cincinnati and his hometown of Toronto who are currently coping with post-traumatic stress disorder with military benefits.
According to MLB.com, the first baseman announced the launch of the Joey Votto Foundation this week in a news conference.
"I've always been motivated to look at and respect military members," Votto said at the conference, as quoted by the news source. "Every day when we play a game in the second or third inning, especially in Cincinnati, there's a veteran that returns who stands on the dugout. … I'm on a daily basis impressed and honored to be in the presence of somebody that I can't even relate to what they think or how they got to that position or the way they risked their lives."
Votto added that he wanted to focus on former servicemembers with PTSD, as well as their families and spouses, because of his previous experience with anxiety and depression. According to the news outlet, the foundation will feature a military stress disorder program that will provide therapy for about 500 new patients each year. The foundation will work with the University of Cincinnati to offer veterans the highest quality of care and treatment.
A study from the RAND Corporation found that at least 20 percent of Iraq war and Afghanistan veterans have PTSD, while a recent report from The Wall Street Journal added that about 30 percent of veterans treated at VA facilities show symptoms of PTSD.