This is as special as it gets.

The American Legion Post 469, (Longport) started a wonderful tradition 10 years ago when they sponsored their first Wounded Warrior Week.  Prior to this, several post members traveled to Walter Reed Hospital near Washington, D.C., visiting with soldiers who had been wounded in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That’s when Legion member, Donal Sheahan, came up with the idea of working with the various military services to identify a wounded warrior each year and bring the warrior to the New Jersey shore, along with the family. The wounded warrior and family receive a one-week-all-expense-paid vacation. This is the 10th consecutive year that this program will take place, this year from September 22-29, 2021.

Arriving here this Wednesday, from their home in Crestview, Florida will be U.S. Army Major Todd Berrios and his wife, Maricela (Mari).  

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Major Berrios began his military career in August 1992, in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his 7 years with the Marines, he served a tour in Iwakuni, Japan. In 1999, he left the Marines to join the Army, and shortly thereafter entered the Special Forces Qualification Course. Major Berrios graduated in 2003 as a Special Forces Weapons Sergeant and subsequently deployed to Suriname, Afghanistan, and Colombia.  

Major Berrios was wounded in action on February 8, 2020, in Afghanistan.  He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and is currently recovering from his injuries. He has earned many awards and decorations, including the Bronze Star Medal (twice), and the Purple Heart Medal.  

The Berrios’ will be staying at a lovely beach block home in Longport.

Many activities will take place in their honor, including a military reception, dinners, shows, boating excursions, and more.

If you have any questions about Wounded Warrior Week, please contact Larry Pacentrilli at Lapace@comcast.net, or, 609-513-3578.

Anyone who would like to support American Legion Post #469s Wounded Warrior Week can mail a contribution to American Legion Post #469, P.O. Box 441, Longport, NJ  08403.  

All contributors will be invited to the welcoming BBQ to greet and meet Todd and Mari.  

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