CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- A Central Point veteran will be headed to New York City this weekend to be honored alongside his fellow service men and women in the city's annual Veteran's Day Parade. United State Army Infrantry Specialist (retired) Tony Casada was hit by two IED blasts while on foot patrol in 2010. Just six days later, Casada's vehicle was hit again, causing it to flip over. These incidents resulted in PTSD, traumatic injuries, and physical injury to his lower back and right shoulder.
Several years later, Casada become an early paricipant in UCLA's Health Operation Mend, a collaboration between Wounded Warrior Project, UCLA and three academic medical centers.This program is aimed at helping veterans and their family members learn together how to cope with the invisible wounds of war at no cost to the veteran. Casada and his wife, Antonia, participated in Operation Mend's six-week outpatient intensive treatment program.
Casada and his wife will join other Operation Mend patients, physicians, staff and supporters in the parade that features over 40,000 veterans, active duty military personnel, marching bands and veterans' supporters and draws more than 500,000 spectators. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War, will be the Grand Marshal.
Operation Mend is available to eligible warriors injured during combat operations or while training for service.