The Academy Awards took place this past Sunday, so all weekend Gift and Style Suites were popping up all over town. Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) hosted their own Beauty and Style Suite at the Avalon for Veterans and their families on Friday, February 28, 2014. The Veterans and families received the VIP Treatment starting with a walk down the Red Carpet, just like the Celebrity Guests in attendance.
Service members and their families were in for a day of beauty, styling, relaxation and appreciation. The Avalon was filled with everything from an OPI Nail Bar to Barber Lounge of Gentlemen (BLOG) to food catered by Ciao Cristina (veteran owned).
Many of the Celebrity Guests come from military families or currently have members of their families serving. IM5 band members have family or know someone in the military; it helps them to know their family members and friends will be “taken care of” by Wounded Warrior Project. Katrina Parker grew up close to Camp Lejeune and she stresses the importance of service people coming home and needing the support that Wounded Warrior Project provides. Vincent M Ward states, “I am in appreciation of the people who are out there.” Gloria Loring emphasizes the “responsibility to do what we can” for service members. Norbie Lara was the Guest Speaker and a WWP Alum. In 2004, Staff Sergeant Norberto “Norbie” Lara was in Iraq on patrol with Army Captain Dawn Halfaker their Humvee was hit by a rocket propelled grenade.
“My battleﬁeld mission is over, but now I have another mission. There are people coming home that I can help. And down the road, when they get better, they’ll get charged with the same mission to help others too, all the way down the line until the last person comes home.” – Norbie Lara
Wounded Warrior Project was founded 10 years ago by a group of veterans and friends who initially provided “comfort items to wounded service members” and “has grown into a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they transition back to civilian life.” SSG (retired) Paul Delacerda states, Wounded Warrior is like “having a huge family.”