Naval Medical Center San Diego and Naval Base San Diego Host Fourth Annual Wounded Warrior Holiday Salute

Last Updated : 12/12/2012 2:56:03 PM

Naval Medical Center San Diego and Naval Base San Diego Host Fourth Annual Wounded Warrior Holiday Salute
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Justin L. Webb, Naval Base San Diego Public Affairs
Nearly 300 wounded warriors and their families were celebrated during the fourth-annual Wounded Warrior Holiday Salute (WWHS) luncheon at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Dec. 6.
The event included music from the Commander, Navy Region Southwest (CNRSW) band while the wounded, ill and injured (WII) troops were greeted by California Congresswoman Susan Davis, former UFC champion Chuck Liddell, members of the San Diego Padres, Charger Girls and dozens of senior military leadership.
NBSD Commanding Officer Capt. Winton Smith emphasized expressing gratitude during the opening of the event.
"We've invited these city treasures, if you will, to come spend time with our wounded warriors, but this is just one iota of the amount of gratitude we really owe these heroes. There is so much more that we ought to do, but this is a great event that continues to show we care about them," added Smith.
CNRSW Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Athletic Director Riley Nelson has coordinated every Wounded Warrior Holiday Salute since the event began at Naval Medical Center San Diego three years ago.
"Our intent is to give them [wounded warriors] an event that will boost morale and show them how much we appreciate their sacrifice. In fact, I think we need to show more appreciation for their service and what they go through."
Congresswoman Davis said she often visits NMCSD's Comprehensive Combat and Complex Casualty Care (C5) facility because she feels it's important to stay connected.
"I think we need a reminder every single day of the great men and women who have been fighting on our behalf. I think just to be here to be supportive and to check in on them and ask them what they need and how they're doing is important," she said.
NMCSD's Army Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) patient Sgt. Odin Ayalla, who was injured when he stepped over an improvised explosive device (IED) in Southern Afghanistan, has attended the last two WWHS luncheons.
"It's nice to see these guys coming out to visit us. I know they are really busy, but the fact that they still take the time to come see how we're doing means a lot," added Ayalla.
For more news from Naval Base San Diego, visit