Georgian soldiers set to be honored in San Diego
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Five soldiers from the country of Georgia, injured
while fighting alongside U.S. troops in Afghanistan, are set to be honored
Monday night by a San Diego area congressman and the office of Mayor Jerry Sanders.
The Georgians, including one officer, have been recuperating at Naval
Medical Center San Diego in Balboa Park for about three months, Melory
Tsipouria, president of the U.S.-Georgia Friendship Association, told City News
“They are all in their 20s,” Tsipouria said.
He said the soldiers were hurt in a pair of explosions in Afghanistan's
Helmand province, but was not sure exactly when.
Georgia, a small country on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, adjacent
to the northeast portion of Turkey, is best known in the U.S. for a military
skirmish with its northern neighbor, Russia, in 2008.
The country has lost 17 soldiers in Afghanistan.
Tsipouria said the five injured troopers were accompanied to this
country by two Georgian military doctors and relatives, including the wives of
a couple of them and some brothers.
One is a double-amputee and three more lost one leg — one of them is
fighting to save his other leg, Tsipouria said. They are also missing fingers
and suffering from other injuries.
Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-El Cajon, and a representative of Sanders'
office plan to present the soldiers with certificates of appreciation at an
event hosted by the San Diego County Republican Party at the Rancho Bernardo
Inn, Tsipouria said.
Three of the most severely injured will need to remain here for another
year to recover, he said.
Tsipouria said he came to the United States in 1990, where he worked in
New York City to help fledgling democratic movements in other countries. He
said he moved eight years later to San Diego, where he runs a small cleaning
business and lives with his Mexican-born wife and three children.