Pomona, CA.…In the life of a solider, a “pinning ceremony” commemorates the hard work and accomplishments achieved as he or she rises through the ranks of the military. On February 2, 2008, a special pinning ceremony will be part of Casa Colina’s Tribute to Courage program. LTC Rocco Armonda, M.D., will pin 2nd Lieutenant Raymond Fleig and mark his transition to 1st Lieutenant (1LT). Dr. Armonda is the neurosurgeon primarily responsible for saving the life of 1LT Fleig. LTC Rocco Armonda, M.D., is the Director of Cerebrovascular Surgery and Interventional Neuroradiology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. He is also the honoree at this year’s Tribute to Courage.
For 1LT Fleig and his family, who reside in Fort Benning, Georgia, this ceremony represents “honor and the gratitude he has for being awarded this new title,” a sentiment that both he and his wife Tiffany share despite the great sacrifices they have made. 1LT Fleig is one of the more than 26,000 service members who have been injured since 2001 while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. 1LT Fleig left Iraq with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on July 11, 2007. The TBI was caused when a rocket exploded within 15 feet of him. He sustained severe injuries and received his acute medical-surgical care at National Naval Medical Center and the Tampa VA Hospital. Three months ago he was admitted to Casa Colina in Pomona for his rehabilitative care and has made tremendous progress.
When questioned about their journey since 1LT Fleig’s injury occurred, Tiffany, his wife of two years responded, “the experience has brought us closer together. We’ve lived a lifetime in the last six months.”
Casa Colina has the distinct privilege of providing physical rehabilitation services to many severely wounded soldiers. The majority of the soldiers who have been referred to Casa Colina have traumatic brain injuries, which many consider “the signature injury” of the current war. Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation, which was founded in 1936, has built a unique continuum of care for individuals with traumatic brain injuries that ranges from acute rehabilitation, post acute care through its Transitional Living Center, outpatient and long-term residential services.
On February 2, 2008, Casa Colina will hold its “Tribute to Courage” black tie event honoring LTC Rocco Armonda, M.D., and the young soldiers like 1LT Fleig, that he has helped on their journey to recovery. The event will take place at the Pacific Palms Conference Resort in Industry Hills, CA and will begin at 5:30 pm.
Media representatives are welcome to attend this event. Please call 909/596-7733 ext. 2227, to obtain press admittance or for more information.