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VICENZA, Italy — A soldier from the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team remains in serious condition in an Italian hospital after surgery last week to relieve pressure on his brain.

Pfc. Jason Gifford, 20, is in the intensive care unit of the San Bortolo hospital in Vicenza. Members of his family have flown over from the States and are staying with him.

Gifford was reportedly involved in an Feb. 18 altercation in Florence and fell and hit his head, according to a release issued by the brigade’s public affairs office. After returning to Vicenza, he began experiencing pain and nausea. He was diagnosed with a fractured skull at the Italian hospital and has undergone several operations.

Gifford is a member of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment.

Italian cleric speaks at prayer breakfastVICENZA, Italy — A Italian cleric assigned to the Carabinieri forces was the guest speaker at the base’s National Prayer Breakfast last week at Caserma Ederle.

Monsignor Antonio Cameran is assigned to Carabinieri headquarters in Padua.

In a news release, Col. David Smith, chaplain for the Southern European Task Force (Airborne) called the event the “first step” in forming closer relations with his counterparts in the Italian military.

“The monsignor is also a chaplain and a soldier, so we have shared values,” Smith was quoted as saying. “It was great to be able to experience them together.”

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