Fairfield K-9 raises PTSD awareness, honors fallen Marine

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FAIRFIELD -

A Marine from Fairfield who helped raise Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder awareness before succumbing to it recently had a K-9 named after him at the Fairfield Police Department.  

Lance Corporal Jake Pettit, 28, was a combat veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan. He loved the outdoors – fishing and hunting with his father Jack Pettit - and always looking out for his two little sisters.

After being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2013, Jake took to social media to raise awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But on October 2, 2016 – he passed away because of PTSD.

To keep his mission alive, the Fairfield Police Department’s K-9 bears Jake Petitt's name. K-9 Jake’s badge No. 22 signifies the amount of veterans that take their own lives each day.

“We got to break that stigma and…tell people that it's OK to come forward. That emotional trauma is OK,” said Chief Gary MacNamara.

The police department will be taking their tribute to Jake Pettit even further this Sunday at the “Jake Pettit Garage Grunt Challenge” at Fairfield University’s parking garage. The CrossFit competition will bring awareness to all of veterans suffering from PTSD and will benefit the Fairfield Police Department K-9 Unit and Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Connecticut.

“It's too late for our son, but if this initiative can just save one more veteran or one more person struggling with this issue, then it will have all been worth it,” said Jack Pettit.

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