Safeway hosts numerous events to honor nation's vets

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway dedicated Veterans Day weekend to pay tribute to past and present service members and raise money for an organization that provides programs and outreach to those who were severely injured while serving their country.

Beginning Veterans Day, Nov.  11 through Nov. 13, all U.S. Safeway stores helped raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.

"We are proud to recognize the enormous sacrifice made by veterans, especially those who are injured while defending the freedoms we hold dear," said Larree Renda, Safeway EVP and chair of the Safeway Foundation. "With [the] weekend's activities, we are honored to assist the Wounded Warrior Project and the work they are doing for those veterans of the post-September 11 conflicts."

Safeway held other in-store events to show support for veterans. For example, in Dublin, Calif., California Rep. Jerry McNerney, and other local elected officials and community leaders helped Safeway customers assemble care packages for Operation SAM (Supporting All Military), an organization that collects, packs and ships "comfort items" to active duty personnel overseas.

In Southern California, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa joined Army Airborne Ranger Aron Hijar, other military veterans and local news anchors, at a Studio City Vons store for a grocery "Bagging Boot Camp" competition. The mayor teamed with Hijar, whose platoon was featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Restrepo."

And in Boulder, Colo., three Safeway store managers, who also are retired military officers, were joined by a Wounded Warrior Project ambassador as they presented with the Game Day Ball at the University of Colorado's Folsom Field before 55,000 fans.

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