140 International Wounded Warriors Get Honored in Little Italy SD

The Little Italy Association, USO San Diego and Wounded Warrior Battalion West pay tribute to over 140 international soldiers by hosting a lunch reception in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy

The Little Italy Association, USO San Diego and Wounded Warrior Battalion West will join forces to host a lunch reception for over 140 international Wounded Warriors from 14 allied countries on Monday, March 2, at noon on top of Nelson Photo in Little Italy San Diego. As part of the American Experience for the Wounded Warriors, the reception will officially kick off the 2015 Marine Corps Trails.

“We are honored to partner with USO San Diego and the Wounded Warrior Battalion West as a way to honor the 14 allied countries that fight alongside our men and women,” said Steve Galasso, President of the Little Italy Association. “We always like to seize every opportunity to enhance the quality of life to those that have served our country and those allies that provide support to Armed Forces. By partnering with these two organizations we can give those that have been wounded, ill or injured from war-inflicted incidents an afternoon to be recognized and show our respect.”

To pay tribute to these Wounded Warriors whom have served their country and ours, a variety of business owners, community members and restaurant owners in the Little Italy neighborhood are glad to support the American Experience for Wounded Warriors. Participants will support the lunch reception by providing appetizers, main course dishes, desserts, beverages and donations, as a way to recognize the Warriors that fought alongside our men and women. Special guest, Anthony Bernal, Director of Business and Community Projects for the Office of Councilmember Todd Gloria, will also be in attendance to meet these soldiers.

“USO San Diego is grateful to the Little Italy Association for, once again, providing this special opportunity to our Allied Nation wounded, ill and injured athletes,” said Judy Forrester, President and CEO of USO San Diego. “Over the course of 10 days, these athletes will be in earnest competition at Camp Pendleton, alongside approximately 250 American athletes in a variety of sporting events in order to qualify for the Wounded Warrior Games in Quantico later this year. The competitions, such as wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, archery, track and field and others, are open to the public and we hope all of San Diego will come to cheer them on. The opportunity for a day of fun and great food in beautiful San Diego before their competitions start is something these athletes look forward to each year, and the Little Italy Association has consistently been a tremendous partner and gracious host in support of these military men and women.”

The reception will take place on the rooftop of Nelson Photo in the heart of the Little Italy neighborhood. The Warriors will have the opportunity to share their stories with each other and connect with members of the community as they overlook the Little Italy neighborhood, enjoy the San Diego skyline and bay views. Nelson Photo’s rooftop will be transformed into a shaded outdoor dining area that mirrors the decorative Little Italy neighborhood. The support of the large surrounding community will be hard to miss.

“This year we wanted to heighten the experience for these soldiers that once supported our country,” said Galasso. “In the past we have hosted small groups at different restaurants throughout the neighborhood. However, for the 2015 lunch reception, the Little Italy Association decided to host all the Warriors in one central location. We wanted to be able to add more value to this event by coordinating an actual reception, where multiple Little Italy businesses and community members can participate and support these Wounded Warriors.”

For more information about American Experience for Wounded Warriors or to support the reception, please contact chris@littleitalysd.com. More information about the event can be found on www.littleitalysd.com.

About Little Italy Association (LIA)
A nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation for the public’s benefit, the Little Italy Association (LIA) advocates on behalf of its members’ best interests in the areas of public safety, beautification, promotion and economic development, while preserving the unique cultural resources that exist in the Little Italy neighborhood of Downtown San Diego. LIA stands as the only district management corporation of its kind for any Little Italy neighborhood in the United States and is run by a Board of Directors encompassing 28 people who represent property owners, residents, businesses and community at large. More information can be found by visiting www.littleitalysd.com or by calling (619) 233-3898.

About USO San Diego
USO San Diego served the San Diego military community more than 250,000 times in 2014 through our centers, programs, and services. The mission of this nonprofit is to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families. Through our two centers, USO San Diego Downtown Center and USO Neil Ash Airport Center, we create a cooperative relationship between U.S. military communities and the civilian community. Our volunteers are incredibly dedicated, donating more than 34,000 hours of their time in 2014. USO San Diego is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization relying on the generosity of volunteers and donors. To learn more about USO San Diego and our patriotic mission, please visit usosandiego.org.



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