Pleasanton Weekly

- November 11, 2011

Veterans Day ceremony at Dublin Safeway Friday morning

Keynote speaker will be Marine vet wounded in Iraq

by Jeb Bing

For the first time ever, Safeway will be launching a special Veterans Day campaign on Friday -- Veterans Day -- with a public Tri-Valley community celebration at its Dublin supermarket at 4440 Tassajara Road, just north of the I-580 freeway.

Susan M. Houghton, Safeway's Director of public and government affairs, said Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty will join guest speaker Bill Hansen in asking the public to donate to worthy organizations supporting the country's military.

The Amador Valley High School jazz band will open the one-hour ceremony at 8:30 a.m., followed by welcoming remarks by Karl Schroeder, president of Safeway's Northern California division in Pleasanton.

Both McNerney and Haggerty also will make brief remarks.

Then Hansen will deliver his remarks, entitled "From the Front lines."

In 2002 Hansen joined the California National Guard as an Infantry sergeant in the Marines, serving in Operation Desert Storm, Somalia, and Angola. During those years, he received numerous military recognitions, including a Purple Heart.

In February 2009, Hansen was in a convoy in Iraq when a lead vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED).  Though the IED only grazed the vehicle Hansen was riding in, his truck swerved off the road slamming into a drainage dish and then a brick wall at 50 mph.

Hansen suffered serious injuries in the crash, including broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. He was told he would never walk again without a cane.

For the past two years Hansen has worked tirelessly at physical rehab in an effort to "heal my body and spirit," as he says. He has been involved in the military's Wounded Warrior Project, which provides long-term support and camaraderie for seriously injured veterans, including special events, discounted services and an online social network.

Hansen in his remarks Friday will add: "You can overcome anything if you work hard enough."

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