WILMINGTON — Wil­mington’s iPods for Woun­ded Veterans brought all kinds of donations to veterans at an event hosted by the Westport Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8502 on Saturday June 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Justin Latini of Vietnam Veterans of America and host of Veterans Voice Radio WATD 95.5 FM Greg Brasso connected with iPods for Wounded Veter­ans President and co-founder Paul Cardello to set up the event. Latini was the one who contacted the Westport VFW, and they offered their pavilion as the location for the day.

A team of six volunteers from IFWV helped serve a meal and hand out electronics and other swag to 32 veterans from Fall River, Somerset, Westport, Dartmouth, and from the Veterans Transition House in New Bedford. All of the 32 veterans received an electronic device of some kind: a laptop, goo­gle home mini, Bluetooth speaker, kindle fire, insig­nia mini soundbar, fire hd8, or other device. They also received various ser­vice hats.

Latini mentioned that Brasso and Cardello have put on four of these veterans events together so far, himself attending one and then organizing the last. The previous events have been in Quincy, Marsh­field, and Hyannis. He shared that the event in Westport was met with great weather and a great turnout of veterans and volunteers.

He especially appreciated iPods for Wounded Vet­erans and their generosity.

“They’re an amazing organization… no one gets paid, which today is un­heard of,” he said.

More than the electronics, he said what’s most meaningful to the veterans is the recognition for their service. However, these do­nations do also meet their real needs and change their lives. Latini went on to say that the time spent recognizing their service sends a powerful message to them of how their service is appreciated, which is not something that they hear very often.

Latini’s plan is to put on another event with the Westport VFW 8502 Com­mander to raise money for IFWV in October so that they can give back to even more veterans.

Latini is currently the commander of Vietnam Veterans of America Chap­ter 207. The VVA’s motto, he said, is that no one generation of veterans abandon another. They’re a group of veterans who ensure that new veterans are taken care of and welcomed back home. From their website, the group pledges to advocate, seek access to health care, identify illnesses, and hold government agencies ac­countable on behalf of veterans.

Latini also was the fundraising chair for the Fall River Vietnam Vet­erans Memorial wall rep­lica. This 80 percent replica of the Vietnam Vet­erans Memorial in Wash­ington D.C. has over 58,000 names of veterans who gave their lives in the Vi­etnam War. Latini ex­plain­ed that there are only four replicas of similar size in the country. New England residents can visit this memorial and see most of the same names without traveling all the way to D.C.

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