Suzanne Marino for the press
LONGPORT – U.S. Army Maj. Todd Berrios and his wife, Mari, received a heroic welcome on Wednesday as guests of honor at the 10th annual Wounded Warriors Week hosted by American Legion Post 469.
Here from Crestview, Florida, the couple were surprised with a parade in their honor that started at Ventnor Plaza and ended at Longport Borough Hall.
Escorted by American Legion Riders, fire trucks and emergency vehicles from the three Downbeach communities, a convertible white limousine awaited the couple’s arrival at Ventnor.
The parade came as a surprise to Berrios and his wife, as were the dozens of people who lined the parade route waving flags and handcrafted signs.
From toddlers to the elderly, the message thanking this wounded warrior for his service was loud and clear.
“I hope the parade will be a suitable way for people to say thank you to our wounded warrior for what he has done for all of us. What they see along the way, all the flags and all the people, we hope is a wonderful memory that they will take with them for a lifetime, ”said Larry Pacentrilli, Legion Post Commander .
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Lisa and Bob Stern waved their American flag as the couple walked down 30th Avenue.
“We wanted to be here and show our support for all of the veterans. I work with veterans to help them move from military service to successful civilian life, ”said Lisa Stern.