Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, along with Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla and EventFest, Inc., announced today – Veterans Day – that U.S. Navy Lt. Ramesh Haytasingh will be the “Community Hero” for the 2017 Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest and the Gasparilla Parade of the Pirates.
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa has signed on for the fourth year as title sponsor of the Gasparilla Pirate Fest, which is scheduled for January 28, 2017. The event will feature the Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates, presented by Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, as well as the Gasparilla Pirate Fest Street Festival.
Haytasingh is a Special Operator with the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. During his 19 years of service, he has had eight combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Despite seeing his share of battle wounds during those deployments, it was a surfing accident in 2013 that deeply affected his life. He sustained a broken neck as well as several other injuries.
Haytasingh would go on to endure 12 surgeries covering more than two and a half years before ultimately having the opportunity to compete in the DOD (Department of Defense) Warrior Games in June 2016 for the USSOCOM team in rifle, archery, swimming, track & field and wheelchair basketball. He was also selected to be the torchbearer for the opening ceremony and was awarded the “Heart of the Team” by fellow teammates and coaches.
“We’re grateful for Lt. Haytasingh’s service and commitment to our country,” said Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa President John Fontana. “He clearly fits the mold of what a ‘Community Hero’ should be. We’re certainly honored that he will participate in this great event.”