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IMG Academy honors USO's Wounded Warriors (updated)

Check out a story on the event from the Bradenton Herald, SNN6 andABC 7 below:

IMG Academy has teamed up with the United Services Organization to reach out to our nation's service men and women who were injured in battle to bring them the full IMG Academy experience. The four participating veterans are:

Nick Bollettieri speaks to the service men and women and their families during Monday's opening ceremony

SFC Jason Stack, U.S. Army

CPT Kevin Lombardo, U.S. Air Force

SSG Alexandro Huertas, U.S. Army

SGT Wayne “Tom” Marcum, U.S. Air Force retired

These brave soldiers and their families will receive the same experience as the athletes that come here from around the world to train. During their introduction at IMG Academy, Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston honored the veterans by presenting each of them a key to the city and naming them official ambassadors to Bradenton. Mayor Poston later told reporters that when Nick called him and asked him to speak at the Wounded Warriors event he replied, “Nick, I'm there” and added how honored he was just to be in attendance at the ceremony.

After the Mayor spoke, it was host Nick Bollettieri turn to address the veterans and their families. Bollettieri is a former U.S. Army Paratrooper who took part in the 2009 USO Holiday Tour with singer Billy Ray Cyrus, comedian Dave Attell, and former tennis sat Anna Kournikova. A teary-eyed Bolliettieri told the soldiers how proud he was of them and how delighted he was that to be able to give back to them after they have given so much all for us. Nick told all of the families that their kids would also receive a new tennis racket and have hour-long filmed session training with Bollettieri. Additionally Bollettieri said,

“What we are trying to do is show a little appreciation to the families that have given so much and have made it possible for this Academy to be here, and for our country to be where we are today.”

The families arrive at IMG Academy on Monday afternoon and will be here until Thursday's closing awards ceremony.

For more info on the USO and the Wounded Warriors program, please visit www.uso.org

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