Fundraiser aims to bring together soldiers in Italy

A fundraiser is under way to reunite a group of wounded U.S. soldiers with their unit in Italy in mid-September.

Sgt. Ryan Pitts, of Mont Vernon, a 2003 graduate of Souhegan High School class and member of the 173rd, 2-503 Infantry Airborne, was seriously injured in Wanat, Afghanistan, on July 13 along with 15 other soldiers. Pitts is currently receiving medical care in the United States at Walter Reed Medical Center.

There are a series of welcome home events for the 173rd, 2-503 Infantry Airborne scheduled in September in Italy. The events include a memorial service (approximately 25 soldiers lost their lives from the unit), a Family Appreciation Day and a Fourth of July party. Ten of the soldiers who were wounded in the battle with Pitts all want to be reunited with their comrades to mourn those lost, reconnect with their buddies and heal. Because they were injured with only days left of their deployment, there are no funds available to get them back to Italy and provide them with lodging and any necessary medical care. About $20,000 needs to be raised in just a few of weeks.

America’s Wounded Heroes, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is helping the soldiers reunite with their unit by collecting donations to get the soldiers to Italy.

To donate to the fund, make checks out to “Americas Wounded Heroes” and mail the checks to Jo-Ellen Redmond, 86 Mack Hill Road, Amherst, NH 03031. Redmond will forward the checks via Fed Ex to the Pitts. For more information, e-mail

Pitts’ mother, Kelly, has been at Walter Reed Medical Center with Pitts since he came back to the United States. To track Pitts’ progress, visit