NEWTON, Mass. — The metal construction industry’s largest international event for metal construction products, technologies and solutions gives back to the local community during its annual tradeshow and conference taking place Oct. 18-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
METALCON has partnered with the America’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans in all branches of the military. The program was created to direct urgently needed resources and financial support to injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces along with their families, and is a self-funded program of the Semper Fi Fund (SFF).
Last year, METALCON raised $7,500 in Baltimore to provide intensive rehabilitative care to service members in the Baltimore area. This year, METALCON’s giving back program continues to benefit the America’s Fund and will raise money for military veterans in need of adaptive home support services throughout the Las Vegas area.
Joining us for the America’s Fund Check Presentation Ceremony this year is veteran U.S. Marine Corps’ Corporal Hector Delgado, as the SFF representative, on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 1.30 p.m. in the convention center.
Delgado was in the first wave of troops sent to Iraq and was severely injured in April 2003. He sustained injuries at Camp Viper, Iraq when a tank trailer from a convoy collapsed, trapping himself and two other Marines. The Marines were trapped, facedown for 25 minutes, while Delgado remained conscious the entire time. Once the Marines were freed, Delgado was medically evacuated to the USNS Comfort Hospital Ship and received 25 units of blood before the internal bleeding stopped. He woke up in the intensive care unit at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., with a shattered pelvis, abdominal compartment syndrome and severe nerve damage.
During Delgado’s transition, he received tremendous support from the SFF. He became active in adaptive sports and fitness, obtained a college education and has been working with service members transitioning from combat since 2005.
Today, Delgado is a Veteran Lead with the SFF, based in Las Vegas, and assists returning service members with the reunion/reintegration process from combat and military trauma. He has also remained physically active since 2007 and has increased his walking distances. Hector has become a dedicated athlete, care provider and an inspiration to other returning service members.
According to the SFF, wheelchair-bound service members and those with catastrophic injuries require adaptive housing, and handicap modifications are costly but necessary. To ease the financial strain, the SFF provides funding toward the cost of service members’ homes, depending on the need. It also grants assistance to those who have fallen behind on their housing payments due to injury, recovery and rehabilitation costs with the goal of helping wounded service members remain in their homes without the added financial burden of these extra costs.
"Semper Fi Fund is committed to being there for our wounded, injured and ill service members for not only their journey to recovery, but for a lifetime," said Karen Guenther, President, Semper Fi Fund. "Thanks to the generosity of METALCON, we'll be able to help provide families with home adaptations to ease in their transition and help them live their very fullest lives."
To help raise funds this year, METALCON is taking donations for Semper Fi wrist bands at the show, in addition to holding a raffle offering a grand prize three-night Las Vegas travel package for two, including air, valued at $2,500.
Additional contributions to America’s Fund can be made before, during and after the show or at The Deck, Booth #1849, in METALCON’s exhibit hall, where members of show management will be available to meet supporters. For more information on how to donate, visit www.metalcon.com.