It was 1943 when U.S. Army Sergeant Everett Anderson encountered a seven-year-old boy named Dominick, and his sister, Antonett, struggling to find enough food to eat in the middle of a warzone on the streets of Naples, Italy.
That young boy was Gino’s father, Dominick Campana, and the young girl was Gino’s Aunt, Antonett Campana.
It would take seven years, but in 1950, Sergeant Anderson was able to sponsor Dominick and Antonett’s entrance into the United States. At the age of 14, Gino’s father boarded a ship bound for New York City. He was dressed in a donated Red Ryder sweatshirt with both hope in his heart for the future, and apprehension for the journey ahead.
After successfully making the solo journey to New York City, they would settle in Sergeant Anderson’s hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado. There, another journey would begin – the Campana Family’s own journey towards realizing the American Dream.
A hero to our country and a savior to the Campana Family, Sergeant Anderson would go on to serve in Vietnam. Sadly, he lost his life on a search and destroy mission when a hostile mine was detonated.
Sergeant Anderson would never have the opportunity to witness that the compassion he demonstrated to those two homeless children would ripple through future generations yet to be born thus, creating the opportunity for them to live the American Dream.
Gino Campana has made good on the opportunity provided to his family by that one American soldier’s selfless deed eighty years ago.
USE OF EVERETT ANDERSON’S MILITARY RANK, JOB TITLES, AND PHOTOGRAPHS IN UNIFORM DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY OR THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.