BABYLON - A poker run and fundraising festival was held for an Iraq War veteran from Mount Sinai who lost his battle with post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Pfc. Joseph Dwyer first gained worldwide attention in 2003 after a photo of him helping an Iraqi child made headlines. His family says the photo meant even more to Dwyer when he returned home from war. His sister, Christine, says that Dwyer wanted the photo to be associated with men and women suffering from PTSD.
Dwyer died in 2008, leaving behind a wife and daughter.
The poker run and festival, organized by 9-1-1 Veterans organization, featured a bike run, festival, live music and barbecue-style food. The festival was held at Babylon Town Hall.
Organizers and Dwyer's family hope the event will also raise awareness about the struggles of PTSD.
Just last year, the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans PTSD Peer Support Project was created and is now funded by the state. According to their website, eight peer support groups have been established across Suffolk County.
“We loved him, but we couldn't help him the way another veteran could,” said Christine Dwyer.