Helen Patton, Granddaughter of Gen. George Patton, Attending Warrior Games

By Dave Jordan Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. — The granddaughter of one of America’s most decorated and well-known U.S. Army generals is in Tampa Bay this week for the 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games.

  • Helen Patton is the granddaughter of Gen. George S. Patton
  • Ms. Patton uses platform to raise awareness about PTSD, wounded warriors
  • Learn more about the Patton Foundation USA
  • More Warrior Games stories

Helen Patton, the granddaughter of General George S. Patton, spoke at an unrelated event about her grandfather’s legacy as a military commander and an Olympian.

“I think if you could look at my grandfather’s entire life, you could see that it was a long-distance run,” she told us.

Ms. Patton is the founder of the Patton Foundation, which “is dedicated to a wide range of philanthropic endeavors inspired by the Patton-Holbrook family legacy of service and belief that liberation and reconciliation for every generation can be achieved through shared multi-cultural experiences,” according to its website.

The foundation serves as a platform for Ms. Patton to raise awareness on a number of issues, including athleticism and the importance of sports, themes that were important in her grandfather’s life.

In his younger years, Gen. Patton represented the United States in the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm. He competed in what is now known as the Pentathlon.

“My grandfather then had to learn running, swimming, riding, shooting, and fencing,” said Ms. Patton. “He then later on used sports as an analogy and as a reality in his tactics as a general and as a young officer.”

One of the foundation’s prominent subsidiaries is Patton Legacy Sports, which honors and supports competitions featuring men and women who serve in the armed forces.

Which brings her to Tampa Bay and this year’s Warrior Games.

“Helen’s presence here is very important especially for Patton Legacy Sports,” said Patton Legacy Sports director Michelle Strauss. “We are going out and watching the athletes and meeting them and cheering them on.”

Raising awareness about PTSD

General Patton is perhaps best remembered for leading the U.S. Army’s Third Army across the Rhine River and into Germany, which essentially ended Adolf Hilter’s control of the region.

A 1970 Oscar-winning film about Patton starring George C. Scott helped solidify Patton’s name and colorful image in the nation’s cultural imagination decades after the end of the war.

Patton is also believed to have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Ms. Patton is using her platform to raise awareness on that issue, as well, as drawing attention to the plight of wounded soldiers and veterans.

“As a younger Patton, taking his name forward, these two facts are in my mind,” she said.

When asked about what lessons the current generation could learn from her grandfather, Ms. Patton cited “perseverance of readiness, of being in physically good shape, all the time and overcoming your fears, overcoming your obstacles and being imaginative.”

Original Article: https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2019/06/24/general-patton-granddaughter-helen-patton-warrior-games