Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Viva Italia!

Twenty-seven wounded veterans from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington and the National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda, Md., and their family members were treated to an Italian fest last Friday at the Italian Embassy. The Stars and Stripes reports that

The Friday dinners are a two-year-old tradition started by Hal Koster, co-owner of the Fran O’Brien’s Stadium Steak House in Washington, and his friend and fellow Vietnam veteran, Jim Mayer.

The Italian Ambassador, Gianni Castellaneta, and his wife, Lila, heard about Fran O’Brien’s dinners through an Italian sponsor and offered to have the wounded servicemembers over to the embassy at some point as well, according to Shoshana Bryen, a member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, another sponsor.

After Fran O’Brien’s lost its lease at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, the Italian ambassador and his wife decided to make good on their plans to welcome the wounded veterans...

Read the full story and check out the neat pictures here and here.

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