By Ms. Dottie White (USASMDC/ARSTRAT)November 14, 2012
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- Each year in November, the Semper Fi Community Task Force of Huntsville brings 30 wounded warriors, representing all service branches, to Huntsville for a week of fun, relaxing activities, and recognition.
Known as Heroes Week, this year from Nov. 7-12, the service members are honored at numerous events throughout the community.
This year's highlights included a Veterans Day breakfast and parade, a Marine Corps Ball, a fishing tournament, a University of Alabama football game, a parade of boats, and numerous lunches and dinners hosted by community groups and businesses.
Cheshire-native, Army Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica, commanding general, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, along with local veterans groups, other military representatives and several members of the community, was there to greet these wounded warriors as they arrived at the Huntsville International Airport Nov. 7.
"This is a great opportunity to greet our wounded warriors and welcome them to Huntsville," Formica said. "When you look around and see all the moms and dads and the children cheering, there's just no place I'd rather be."
There was one wounded warrior in the group Formica has met and spent time with before Heroes Week. Formica first met Army Spc. Josh Budd, also a Cheshire native, during a visit to Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he has been recuperating for the past year and a half after being injured in Afghanistan.
Budd said Formica has visited him three or four times at Walter Reed.
"It means a lot that we have top-ranking officials caring about the little guys," Budd said. "I've been to a lot of places as a wounded warrior, and this is the best welcome we've ever received.
"The first time I stood and saluted (since being injured) was for Lt. Gen. Formica," he added. "He has been a huge help in my recovery and making me feel closer to home."