Moments ago, during a celebration on Bicentennial Plaza outside the NC General Assembly, the Governor signed into law legislation
introduced by Representative David Willis (R-Union) to recognize April 24th each year as "Wounded Heroes Day" in North Carolina.
The date was chosen in honor of Union County's Sgt. Michael Verardo who endured life changing injuries in Afghanistan on April 24, 2010. Sgt. Verardo, his wife Sarah, and other wounded veterans attended the celebration.
"I was proud to file this bill in recognition of heroes like Sgt. Verardo who were severely wounded serving our country,"
said Rep. Willis. "These brave men and women have sacrificed so much in service to our country. With April 24th now being recognized as 'Wounded Heroes Day' in North Carolina, we can pause and honor these American heroes. I want to thank the Governor for signing the bill and express my deepest appreciation to Sgt. Verardo and his wife, Sarah, for their service and sacrifice. They are a model of what our country and state represent."
While on foot patrol as an Infantryman with the 82nd Airborne, Bravo Company (2-508th) Parachute Infantry Regiment, in Afghanistan, Sgt. Verardo was wounded by an improvised explosive device, causing him to lose his left leg and much of his left arm, withstand severe burns, and suffer a traumatic brain injury and other injuries that required a field blood transfusion.
Sgt. Verardo bravely endured years of physical, occupational, speech, and visual therapies and, on April 24, 2019, his Ninth Alive Day, underwent his 120th surgery; and because of his courage and grit, Sgt. Verardo has overcome unimaginable challenges and obstacles and is now able to enjoy adaptive athletics, such as competitive pistol shooting, and is an active participant in his church and community.
- Contact: Jimmy Milstead