CSI's Sinise, Summers Honor Nation's Wounded Warriors

Sunday, 20 May 2012 12:59 PM

By Todd Beamon

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The nation’s wounded veterans and several family members will be honored on Wednesday in Washington for their heroism and courage.

Hope for the Warriors, a nonprofit organization based in Annandale, Va., will present its Hope & Courage Awards during the “Got Heart, Give Hope Gala” for those veterans and family members who have been adversely affected by injuries or death in the line of duty.

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The black-tie affair, to be held at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, will be hosted for the second year by Emmy-winning actor and “CSI: NY” star Gary Sinise and retired New York City firefighter and Hope for the Warriors director John Vigiano. Sinise also serves on the organization’s advisory board.

U.S. Navy Adm. James A. “Sandy” Winnefeld Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will keynote the event.

“The gala is to raise money for the men and women who have suffered really debilitating injuries and to let these young men and women know that we are standing with them every step of the way,” Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers told Newsmax.

Summers, a Navy veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, also serves on the board of Hope for the Warriors. He is among six Republicans vying for the Maine U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retiring U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe. The candidates face off in a June 12 primary.

Founded in 2006 by a group of military wives, Hope for the Warriors arose from the need to address the issues faced by men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan – which often differ from those of veterans of previous wars, Summers said.

“It’s a lot different from World War II, Korea – or even Vietnam – where the injuries that men would sustain were often injuries that ended their lives,” Summers told Newsmax.

“With the new battle equipment, it really has done a terrific job protecting the vital organs, but the extremities are usually the areas where someone is affected the most," he added.

“Hope for the Warriors is really there for those people who've been affected -- their families -- and they advocate strongly for their veterans, male and female.”

The organization works closely with Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and is building its Warrior Hope & Care Center in North Carolina.

“It's critically important that people who are stateside understand the need to reach out to these warriors and the need to help them through probably some of the most difficult aspects of their lives.”

For more information about the gala or the organization, visit www.hopeforthewarriors.org.

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