Anchorage veteran surprised with hot tub over Memorial Day weekend
As we remember those who lost their lives while serving in the military this Memorial Day, one Anchorage-area business is giving back to a veteran who also made sacrifices for his country.
Marine Corps veteran Angelo Maddaloni is getting the chance to not only relax, but continue healing some of his battle wounds with a new hot tub from Arctic Home Living.
It’s part of a partnership between the hot tub supplier and Wish For Our Heroes, a national nonprofit that provides resources to active-duty military members and veterans.
Sundance Spas challenged all of their dealers nationwide to sell 100 hot tubs; if they did, the company would give a free spa to a veteran in the area. After meeting the goal, Arctic Home Living went to work finding the right person who would benefit from the gift.
General manager Terry Donovan said they looked at several candidates and found the retired Marine a perfect fit. He said he couldn't be prouder of his team for making the giveaway happen.
"To be able to give back to the community, especially in Alaska, with so many veterans and active-duty it means the world to us," Donovan said. "We are so happy to do this to change their life and give them something that's going to benefit them for years physically and mentally."
Angelo's wife, Alicia Maddaloni, nominated her husband with the hopes of helping him with the injuries he suffered while serving the country.
"I thought, you know, Angelo, really, this would be great for him," she said. "He has a spinal implant in his back because he has, you know, pain and I thought that would just be really beneficial for him so I went online and I filled out the application and submitted it and then got a phone call one day from Wish For Our Heroes while I was at Home Depot and it surprised me."
The next step was planning the surprise installation. Arctic Home Living and Alicia planned a day when they could install the tub while Angelo was at work. When he got home, Alicia said he was definitely surprised.
"As soon as his car pulled up, we all ran out and kind of stood there and I'm sure he already knew what was going on seeing everybody outside and balloons, but his face was just smile ear to ear," she said. "He was just pretty in awe and shocked and just really happy."
After being in the Marines for 20 years, Angelo says this spa will make all the difference when it comes to his muscles recovering each day.
"I have a traumatic brain injury, memory loss, vision loss and then I have a cracked vertebrae that is just going to heal itself. They cant do anything about." he said. "I have about four herniated disks and nerve damage in most of the [thoracic] spine and [lumbar] spine."
Angelo said the gift left him humbled and his family is grateful too.
"[I feel] special because there are a lot of veterans here in Alaska and it's a very veteran-friendly state so I know there are a lot of wounded people who are here and I just didn't expect it to be me," said Angelo.
Alicia said the gift comes at a perfect time of the year — one her and her husband spend remembering those who are no longer here, but sacrificed so much for the country.
"Seeing people doing things for the military, it actually kind of enlightens me and warms my heart a little bit, so it makes me happy," said Alicia. "Just to know that he's not forgotten. He did all of this for us and now people are really taking notice and remembering and it's nice."
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