A monthly bulletin for Italian American organizations and media outlets, dedicated to promoting the language, culture and traditions of Italians and Italian Americans.
Spotlight on an Italian American Soldier
When LTG Raymond Odierno received the NIAF Special
Achievement Award for Military Service at the Foundation’s
East Coast Gala on April 18, his son, Captain Anthony K.
Odierno, and wife, Linda, were in the
audience applauding. But the family had far more to celebrate –
both father and son have returned home after serving in Iraq and
son Anthony has successfully finished rehabilitation after losing
an arm to a rocket-propelled grenade.
Captain Anthony K. Odierno graduated from the U.S. Military Academy
in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and was
commissioned as a 2nd Lt. of Infantry. His first assignment on active
duty following completion of the Infantry Officer Basic Course (IOBC)
was to Fort Hood, Texas. There he was assigned to the 1st Squadron
7th Calvary, 1st Calvary Division where he served as a Scout Platoon
Leader and then as a Support Platoon Leader.
In March 2004, Capt. Odierno was deployed on Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He was wounded in combat in late August of that year and evacuated
to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he continued rehabilitation
until August 2005. He was promoted to Captain on Nov. 1, 2004 and
is currently serving as Aide-de-Camp to Gen. Peter Pace, chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is a graduate of the Army Airborne
and Ranger schools, has been awarded the Expert Infantryman’s
badge, Combat Infantryman’s badge, Purple Heart and Bronze
Star Medal for Valor. Look for an interview with Captain Odierno
will appear in the Fall 2006 issue of Ambassador magazine.
From the Stage to the Screen
Actor Anthony LaPaglia was born in Adelaide, Australia,
to an Italian father and Dutch mother. Once inspired to become an
actor, LaPaglia traveled to New York City to work in the theater.
When acting on stage left him wanting more, he continued on to Los
Angeles, Calif., to pursue bigger dreams. There, he became an accomplished
In 2002, LaPaglia shared the spotlight with actress Sigourney Weaver
in “The Guys,” a film about a New York City fire captain
who lost eight men in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center. The film was adapted from a play by Anne Nelson.
Many people recognize him as FBI agent Jack Malone on the television
series “Without a Trace” and for his guest-comedic work
as Simon Moon on “Frasier.” He has won a Golden Globe
Award and was nominated for two Emmy Awards. LaPaglia is currently
in his fourth season of “Without a Trace” and plans
to be on the set as Jack Malone for the next several years.
Web Sites to Explore
Please bookmark the NIAF website www.niaf.org,
as one of your favorites! It is your Internet portal
to the best of the Foundation, the United States and
Do you want to practice Italian on a regular
basis? Are you interested in the Italian culture and
would you like to make some new friends? Meetup is
a great way to meet people interested in a common
subject. There are 61 meetup groups on “Italian
Language” around the world! Visit www.meetup.com
for more information.
San Gennaro Italian Festival of Alexandria
The First Annual San Gennaro Italian Festival of Alexandria, Va.,
will be held in the city’s Oronoco Park on Saturday, Sept.
30, 2006. It is sponsored by the San Gennaro Foundation of Virginia,
a not-for-profit community organization.
Annual San Gennaro Italian festivals celebrate the patron saint
of Naples, Italy, and are held in many cities across the United
States. The first such festival was held in New York City on Sept.
19, 1926, when newly arrived immigrants from Naples who settled
in the Little Italy decided to continue the tradition, which their
ancestors had followed since 305 A.D.
This year’s festival in Alexandria will begin with a traditional
procession featuring the Statue of San Gennaro, which will travel
the streets of Alexandria from St. Mary’s Church to the Waterfront
Park. Many area Italian businesses will offer Italian specialty
foods and pastries. Additionally, vendors will sell a variety of
goods including international foods, souvenir items, and merchandise.
There will also be entertainment for the children, Italian cultural
activities, and a traditional bocce ball tournament. Contact:
Jay DeCianno at 703/492-3329
Now You Know
Roots in the Boot – An Italian
American Family History and Culture Conference will
take place on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh
on July 14 and 15, 2006. Fourteen well-known speakers
will be discussing tracing your roots and genealogist
Dr. John Phillip Colleta will deliver the keynote address.
Registration forms and further information can be found
Please send your group or city’s news on Italian American exhibits, cultural events, scholarships and special events to: Elissa Ruffino, the NIAF, 1860 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. Or write her on the internet, e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
N.B. Events/programs noted are not necessarily endorsed or sponsored by NIAF.