A foundation dedicated to spreading the awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder hosted a ceremony May 3 to honor Austin native Chad Eric Oligschlaeger, a former corporal in the Marine Corps who died in 2008.
Oligschlaeger was a McNeil High School graduate and grew up in the nearby Rattan Creek neighborhood in Northwest Austin. Oligschlaeger, who was based in California, suffered from PTSD and died of cardiac arrest at age 21 because of complications related to treating the disorder, his mother Julie Oligschlaeger said.
A bench and a Trail of Honor at Rattan Creek Park were dedicated to Oligschlaeger, who as a child used to build tree houses and forts at the park. The trail includes bricks inscribed with the names of U.S veterans and was built by volunteers and members of the Cpl. Chad Oligschlaeger Foundation for PTSD. The organization aims to promote awareness of PTSD.
"He was really charismatic," his father Eric Oligschlaeger said. "He is the kind of person that could go to the lunch hall and sit down and draw a crowd. He had a real sense of who people were and what they needed and how to treat them."
During the ceremony State Rep. Tony Dale, R-Cedar Park, gave Oligschlaeger's parents Texas flags that were flown at the state capitol.
"When people like Chad risk all to serve others, we are obligated not to fail people like Chad when they need help," Dale said. "I'm hopeful that through the example of Chad's story that the Marine Corps, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, will truly reform and ensure that the honor and care that all of our veterans deserve is realized."
For more information about the foundation, visit the website.