Sports

Scotch Plains Police Officer Wins George W. Bush Warrior Open Pro-Am Tourney in Dallas

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Mayor Al Smith, Police Chief Ted Conley, and Officer Andrew Gitto at the May 15, 2018, Scotch Plains Council meeting Credits: John Mooney
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Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith (left) and Police Chief Ted Conley (center) welcomed Officer Andrew Gitto to the force in May 2017. Credits: John Mooney
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DALLAS, TX -- Scotch Plains police officer Andrew Gitto won the 2018 Warrior Pro-Am hosted by former President George W. Bush.

Officer Gitto enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantryman in 2008 right out of high school. He deployed to Afghanistan in December of 2009 with the 1st Battalion 6th Marines and supported Operation Moshtarak in February 2010 to the city of Marjah. While on a post on April 15, 2010, Gitto came under heavy enemy fire, was struck multiple times and sustained gunshot wounds to his left hand, shoulder, and chest. The bullets tore tendons in his left hand and one was embedded in his chest, collapsing his lung. To this day, Gitto still has bullet fragments in his left shoulder and a bullet in his chest. 

For a year, Gitto endured multiple surgeries to repair the tendon in his hand and countless hours of rehabilitation and physical therapy to strengthen his hand and shoulder. In July, 2011, he was cleared by his doctor and deployed a second time to Afghanistan and was meritoriously promoted to Corporal after his second deployment. For his service, Gitto has received several awards, including the Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation.

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Once home, Gitto took up golf to help transition from military to civilian life. He used the game as a way to escape the memories of what he faced overseas. He is humbled and honored to be a part of Team 43 and participating in the Warrior Open.

Officer Gitto was honored by Chief Ted Conley at the most recent Scotch Plains Township Council meeting. He joined the SPPD in 2017.

The Bush Institute’s Warrior Open began in 2011 for United States military personnel seriously wounded or injured since September 11, 2001. This year's Warrior Open is presented by ATT at the ATT Byron Nelson May 21-22.

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