Despite Covid 19 continuing to have its impact on public gatherings, it didn’t dampen the pride and enthusiasm that Joe Cook, the father of the late Tim “Doc” Cook, expressed while standing in the shadow of the most visible South Boston landmark and the iconic symbol of Freedom – the Dorchester Heights Monument commemorating the Evacuation of the British by American Patriots. Cook announced and presented the annual Doc Cook awards that included a generous stipend to the award recipients.
The Foundation was created to educate and increase awareness of the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that force those suffering from it to deal with the ‘stigma of hidden wounds’ and claims the lives of more people than we can imagine both here and abroad. To date over $65,000 has been given out to local students, who author essays based upon their research on the condition.
The topics focused on range from likening the risk of military service with that of front line health care workers; to becoming the pen pal to a PTSD patient; experience of a Papa who was a Vietnam Veteran; creating a video game educating gamers on PTSD; organizing a teen drug use education program; the hosting of a street hockey game to build awareness; research and awareness activities from a student whose Dad is a US Veteran; promoting the use of service dogs to help Veterans; the effects of shell shock and the “war at home” as researched by Dr. W. Rivers.
Doc served his country with pride and commitment. He loved his hometown and would be pleased to know that his legacy will help many of his fellow ‘wounded’ soldiers in arms and that South Boston is true to its reputation of helping others.
The recipients are: Garret Smith 10th Grade Catholic Memorial; Tommy Flaherty 8th Grade Archbishop Williams; Lia Blythe 9th Grade Matignon; Vasya Mantrov 8th Grade BC High; Adam Alto 11th Grade Belmont Hill; Michael Callow 10th Grade St. Sebastian’s; Jane Matthews 10th Grade Newton Country Day School; John Maddox 10th Grade BC High; Greg Matthews 9th Grade BC High; Ronan Manning 8th Grade BC High; Jack Matthews Senior BC High/Winchendon (multi-year awardee); Macdara Casper Senior Catholic Memorial/Winchendon School.