Wounded Warriors get VIP treatment in Las Vegas
More than 200 veterans, who were injured while serving overseas, are getting VIP treatment in Las Vegas. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- More than 200 veterans, who were injured while serving overseas, are getting VIP treatment in Las Vegas. The "Salute to the Troops" weekend is organized by MGM Resorts International. It's an annual event to mark Veterans Day, which is this Sunday, Nov. 11.
American Airlines flew the veterans and their guests to Las Vegas for free. And in addition to a room at the Mirage Hotel & Casino, MGM Resorts is treating them to a variety of excursions and shows. The companies say it's a way to say thank you to the men and women in the U.S. armed services who have risked their own safety, to preserve ours.
Employees of MGM Resorts rolled out the red carpet for the arrival of the wounded warriors Thursday. They made signs welcoming them, waved American flags, and cheered loudly, often chanting "USA."
Many of the brave veterans made lasting and life-changing sacrifices for our country. They were flooded with handshakes and hugs.
"It's amazing to get this kind of welcome," says Matias Ferreira. "It's very emotional. It took my breath away."
The 23-year-old lost both his legs in Afghanistan. "While on a mission, I landed on a 30 pound bomb that was underground. I'm lucky to be alive."
Ferreira felt compelled to join the Marines after the Sept. 11 attack. He signed up when he was just 18 years old. He says getting treated like a hero in Las Vegas is bittersweet.
"The true heroes are my friends that didn't make it back," he says. "I would give anything for them to be here with me. They're not here to claim what they deserve. We need to continue to live for them."