INDIAN TRAIL, NC – On the 43rd anniversary of the charter of James B. Crump VFW Post 2423, members of the post had something even more extraordinary to celebrate: the 10th Alive Day of Sgt. Michael Verardo. Ten years ago, while serving as an Army infantryman with the 82nd Airborne (2-508th) in Afghanistan, Verardo was severely wounded by the blast of an improvised explosive device. The IED explosion took Verardo’s left leg, and much of his left arm, and caused severe traumatic brain injury. Verardo fought through more than 100 surgeries, and countless hours of therapy, to be where he is today, thriving with his family and continuing forward.
Members of the armed forces, elected officials, and family members were in attendance at the celebration of Verardo’s 10th Alive Day, to show their gratitude, give speeches in Verardo’s honor, and to unveil the bench dedicated in the name of Verardo’s service. Speeches included a special message from President Donald Trump, read by CSM Donald McAlister, remarks from Rep. Dan Bishop, Sen. Thom Tillis, and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie. Closing remarks came from Sarah Verardo, CEO of The Independence Fund, and wife of Sgt. Verardo, speaking on Verardo’s story and thanking the many who have helped the Verardo’s on their long journey.
Many more distinguished guests were in attendance for Saturday’s event, including Rep. Craig Horn, who said that you can’t help but ask yourself how you would respond to a situation like that of Verardo. Horn said that Verardo’s journey was incredible and that it was an honor to be able to meet a true American hero. He said that it was an honor to be able to thank Verardo, and, as a veteran, to know that they shared the bond of service.
For audio of the touching speeches from Sgt. Verardo’s 10th Alive Day Celebration, and to see more photos from the event, visit www.minthilltimes.com, www.triwnews.com, or visit our Youtube page at www.youtube.com/theminthilltimes for our upcoming pictorial. For more information on the work that the independence fund does in the lives of veterans, visit www.independencefund.org.