Pittsburgh Social Exchange’s Salute Your Troops Gala
April 21, 2014 12:00 AM
Ray Amelio, Randy Levander, Brian Schill.
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, center.
Fred Crawford and Gloria Wainwright.
Ethan Nicholas, Andy Russell and Carlo Dozzi.
Sammy Vasquez, Ben DelPrince and Mary Brennan.
Melissa Carp and Carmella Young.
Staff Sgt. Randy Levande and Sgt. Brok Timpa.
By Natalie Bencivenga / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When and Where: Wednesday at the Omni William Penn Hotel, Downtown.
The Cause: Roughly 250 guests helped raise $10,000 to support the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps military veterans who have faced physical and mental challenges readjust to civilian life.
One Topic, Two Viewpoints:What is the biggest misconception people have about veterans?
“I don’t think people have a clue about post traumatic stress disorder and its prevalence in the military,” said veteran Ray Amelio. “We are stigmatized. I worry that wounded warriors are seen as damaged goods.”
“There is this idea that people with PTSD don’t get better, which just isn’t true,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair. “Remember, people have three options: Victim, survivor or thriver. The military is addressing mental health more than ever before.”
Bright Idea:VETaxi: Many of the veterans arrived to the gala in VETaxi, a new car service helping to put vets back to work by training them to drive and own small businesses. There’s an electric Tesla VETLimo for those swanky nights out.
Seen Supporting the Troops: Sally Wiggin, Andrew Stockey, Brian Drusky, Annie Rosselini, Justin Hartwig, Gene Boyer, Shellie Hipsky Tim Dillion, Sammy Vasquez, Mary Brennan and Ben DelPrince.
To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner.