TAMPA, Fla. (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Marine Doug Vitale, stationed in Afghanistan, lost both legs and suffered a traumatic brain injury in an IED explosion.
Nearly two years later, joined by his wife Alexis and his proud parents, he was honored in a retirement ceremony near his rehabilitation center in Tampa.
His commanding officer, Lt. Col. George Benson, spoke of the retiring Marine as “a man who stands taller than any of us. Doug, Alexis, Dale and Becky, and the entire Vitale family, thank you for all you’ve done, and the sacrifices you made, and for letting me share this day with you.”
“It’s bittersweet to put our military history behind us, and Doug’s career behind us, and move on,” Alexis says. “But we’re excited for moving on and starting the next chapter.”
Family and friends in Pittsburgh are raising funds for a specially designed home for the couple.
Actor Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band (based on his character in ‘Forrest Gump’) will add to that total with a benefit concert. It will be a homecoming concert.
“We’re excited to head to Pittsburgh next week,” Alexis says, “and looking forward to seeing everyone.”
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