Local soldier gives his favorite pizzeria a nod overseas

SUNSET PARK - A Sunset Park pizzeria earned a special rank thanks to a Brooklyn Army Sgt., who happens to be a longtime fan of the restaurant.

Sgt. Abel Torres, a Sunset Park native, flew a flag over his unit?s Iraqi headquarters to honor Johnny?s Pizzeria on Sept. 11, 2007. He also presented the eatery with a certificate thanking Johnny?s for its support of the troops. The certificate now hangs on the restaurant?s wall.

In turn, Johnny?s Pizzeria owner John Miniaci flew an American flag outside the restaurant. He says it was the least he could do to show his appreciation for the men and women in uniform.

Miniaci says he was surprised and excited when he received Torres? care package announcing the honor.

Torres? mother, Roberta, stops by Johnny?s from time to time. She says her children grew up in the pizzeria. Her son has served nearly 15 years in the Army and his next visit home from Iraq is scheduled for February.

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