Chris Melendez, disabled Army Veteran, TNA Wrestling star and grand marshal of the 4th Annual Heroes on the Hudson event, at Pier 66 in Manhattan, greets a disabled Veteran. The event featured competitive kayaking and sailing events held throughout the day and was hosted by VA New York Harbor HCS.

Earlier this month, 45 Veterans participated in the 4th annual Heroes on the Hudson, an event designed to teach disabled Veterans how to kayak and sail.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power attended the New York City event and Chris Melendez participated as grand marshal. Melendez, an Army Veteran and New York City native, served in Iraq where he sustained life-threatening injuries from an improvised explosive device, including wounds in his leg that resulted in an above-the-knee amputation. Melendez is currently living out his second dream to become a professional wrestler, and recently made his debut on TNA Impact Wrestling in front of a hometown crowd.


VA New York Harbor Healthcare System hosted U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and Chris Melendez, disabled Army Veteran and TNA Wrestling star, during the 4th Annual Heroes on the Hudson event at Pier 66 in Manhattan. More than 80 disabled Veterans and family members participated and enjoyed a day of kayaking and sailing on the river.

Participation in Heroes on the Hudson is open to military Veterans who are eligible for VA medical care and have orthopedic amputations, traumatic brain injuries, burn injuries, mental health conditions, visual impairment or other injuries.







Christine Pons is the public affairs specialist, New York Regional Office, VA Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs.  Prior to coming to VA, she worked in public affairs with the U.S. Air Force at McGuire and Tyndall AFBs and the U.S. Army’s Armed Forces Network in Korea. Before joining civil service, she was a broadcaster and news director.

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Published on Aug. 11, 2014

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