FAIRFIELD, Conn. – After we gave thanks for the bounty on Thanksgiving, several hundred people gathered at Fairfield Ludlowe High School on Saturday to give thanks for the men and women who serve our country. More than 30 lacrosse teams from across Connecticut participated in the sixth annual Sticks for Soldiers charity lacrosse tournament, raising money for wounded soldiers in need.
More than $100,000 has been raised since the tournament began in 2006. Three wounded veterans were honored at the event, including Marine Corp Sgt. Liam Dwyer of Litchfield, Army Pfc. Josh Budd of Cheshire and Air Force Tech Sgt. Joe Wilkinson of Troy, N.Y.
Dwyer, 30, and Budd, 19, were wounded in Afghanistan by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), each losing his left leg. Wilkinson served in Iraq and has progressive leg paralysis.
“This is why we join – days like today in our home town,” Lt. Col. Tom Armas of Fairfield said during a ceremony at the event. “America isn’t this grandiose idea. It is these teams from towns all over to support these young men and women. They joined because of this. As you stand out there they see a grateful nation.”
Varsity and junior varsity teams from Fairfield Ludlowe, Warde and Prep High Schools played 30-minute 7-on-7 games throughout the day. The three Fairfield squads took on teams from Ridgefield, Joel Barlow, Madison, St. Joseph, Newtown, Brien McMahon, Lewis Mills, Southington and Cheshire.
The tournament also included a girls division for the first time this season. The Ludlowe and Warde girls teams played against squads from Staples and Lauralton Hall.
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