Fundraiser to reunite soldiers

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 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 receiving medical care in the United States at Walter Reed Medical Center.

A series of welcome-home events for the 173rd, 2-503 Infantry Airborne is scheduled for the middle of September in Italy. The events include a memorial service (about 25 soldiers from the unit lost their lives), a Family Appreciation Day and a Fourth of July-style party.

Ten of the soldiers who were wounded in the battle with Pitts 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 in their deployment, funds aren’t available to get them back to Italy and provide them with lodging and any necessary medical care. About $20,000 must be raised in just a few weeks.

America’s Wounded Heroes, a 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 “America’s Wounded Heroes” and mail them to Jo-Ellen Redmond, 86 Mack Hill Road, Amherst, NH, 03031. Redmond will forward the checks to the Pitts family.

For more information, e-mail jo

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