Capitol West Academy students make strides for soldiers

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- On the last day of school, students at Capitol West Academy in Milwaukee's northwest side hit the pavement for a cause that hits close to home.

275 students from K4 to 8th grade ran or walked in “Strides for Soldiers.”  It's a fundraiser hosted by the school to help military members who've been physically or mentally injured.

For K4 teacher Lisa Dresen, the efforts are personally touching.

“There was an accident in my family,” she said.

Her brother-in-law, Daniel Dresen, served in the Army's field artillery regiment in Iraq for a year.  Upon returning, he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.  He died just months after coming home.

“He was killed in a car accident on his way home on January 12,” said Lisa Dresen.

“It was just very hard for him.  He didn't cope well, didn't sleep well at night.  He couldn't focus, so he struggled when he got back,” said Daniel Dresen’s mother, Pam.

The school's event on Monday was in Dresen's honor.

“There are so many people coming home and they need help.  Just to see everyone get together to help others is so important, and I’m glad that they're teaching children this,” said Pam Dresen.

The funds raised will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project to help 300,000 other service members who suffer from PTSD receive assistance.

Even the school's youngest kids vowed to help, proving that big strides can be made to assist our military men and women at any age.

“They fight to help our country, and some, they get hurt.  So we raise money to help them,” said 4th grader Naquija Hayes.

By the end of the day, Capitol West Academy had raised close to $1,000 for wounded warriors.