RALEIGH – N.C. lawmakers unanimously approved legislation last month that designated this Saturday, April 24, Wounded Heroes Day. Yet, it is more than just the well-deserved recognition, as by Blake Stilwell noted by Military.com; it is a designation that also offers real help to veterans in need.
“Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Verardo suffered two separate improvised explosive device attacks while deployed to Afghanistan in April 2010. After the second on April 24, he was listed as “death imminent,” but a field blood transfusion saved his life. Ever since, he celebrated the 24th of April as his “alive day.”
Many military veterans celebrate their own “alive day,” the day they might have died in combat but didn’t. For some of those, it’s also a day of mourning, because they might have lost a fellow service member on the same day.
Verardo’s alive day is about to become a statewide holiday, as the North Carolina state legislature is set to approve unanimously a law recognizing April 24 as Wounded Heroes Day.
To celebrate the inaugural Wounded Heroes Day, the Independence Fund is inviting 18 wounded veterans and lawmakers to Halifax Mall Lawn at the North Carolina General Assembly in Raleigh to speak and celebrate its passage. The Independence Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping wounded veterans overcome injuries and improve the quality of life for them and their families.
“Wounded Heroes Day celebrates the incredible sacrifice that North Carolinians have made to advance peace around the world,” says Sarah Verardo, CEO of the Independence Fund and Mike’s wife. “North Carolina is home to some of the nation’s finest fighting forces, and the heroes that reside in the state know the high price that is paid for freedom. Wounded Heroes Day ensures that their sacrifices are remembered for decades to come.” […]”
The recognition and veterans assistance is part of a wider effort to make sue North Carolina remains the best place for active military and veterans to call home.
Learn more about the new programs being signed into law, and the soldier that inspired Wounded Heroes Day, here.