The seventh annual Sticks for Soldiers lacrosse tournament in Fairfield, Conn., has named U.S. Army Capt. Gregory Galeazzi, a 2007 graduate of Loyola's Army ROTC program, to be the second honoree for this year's support. The Thanksgiving weekend tournament raises funds and awareness for severely wounded military personnel. He joins U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. (ret.) Greg Caron of Ellington, Conn., as honorees this year.
On May 26, 2011, Galeazzi, an Army Ranger, was seriously wounded while conducting a dismounted patrol in Afghanistan's Kandahar province. The blast caused severe injuries to his legs, requiring amputations of both limbs above his knees, and his right arm was critically damaged. Galeazzi, of Glastonbury, Conn., continues his recovery and rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.
Caron, of Ellington, Conn., lost both his lower legs and suffered nerve damage in a booby-trapped IED explosion in Afghanistan the day after Veterans Day last November. After life-saving field medical care and quick transport to Germany, Greg was taken to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. There, he received extensive wound treatment, physical therapy and prosthetic training though several months of rehabilitation.
Caron and his wife are now adjusting to their lives in Connecticut. It is planned that the Sticks For Soldiers donation, together with that of several other nonprofits, will help contribute to building a home for Greg and his family in Ellington.
The lacrosse tournament will have nearly 50 high school teams in boys and girls lacrosse with approximately 700 athletes participating Nov. 24. A midday ceremony recognizing the honorees will be capped by a keynote address by Fairfield native Marine Corps Maj. John P. Cimina, a decorated naval flight officer stationed at NAS Pensacola. Team entry fees, raffles, and silent auction proceeds and private donations are pooled to support the honorees.
Donations may be sent, payable to “Sticks for Soldiers, Inc.” PO Box 475, Fairfield, Conn. 06824. For more information, go to sticksforsoldiers.org.