Veteran’s Day is a day many of us forget about until it gets here and we are inconvenienced when the bank is closed and mail isn’t delivered. For many though, Veteran’s Day is a stark reminder of the deep loss they’ve experienced as a result of their loved one(s) making the ultimate sacrifice and fighting for freedoms for a country full of strangers. These losses come in all forms. It could be the loss of a limb or other physical ailments, the loss of personal peace due to the many horrors seen and experienced, PTSD, or ultimately the loss of life. Whatever that loss is though, it’s a loss and the men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedom deserve to be remembered and revered.
There is one such individual in the NFL that’s doing his best to do just that.
There are a lot of words a person could use to describe Chicago Bears’ Defensive End, Jared Allen. Among those would be tough, intense, and crazy. Two words that many might not think of however, but are more important than the others are compassionate and giving.
In 2009, Jared Allen was among four NFL players to go overseas to visit troops. It was this trip that inspired Allen to start Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors (JAH4WW) in October 2009. The mission was to provide financial assistance and support to injured military veterans by building handicap accessible homes. The website for the foundation had this to say about Jared’s motives:
“Jared Allen was moved by the commitment, dedication, and sacrifices that our soldiers make every day to protect our freedom. He wanted to say thank you to every soldier in the only way that Jared Allen knows how. By embracing the conflict and making a positive life-changing difference in the lives of those who need it most, Jared and his JAH4WW will help make life for wounded vets just a little bit easier” (retrieved from homesforwoundedwarriors.com/foundation/ November 11, 2014).
The NFL gets a lot of negative press, espeically this season. A lot of that negative press is deserved, but it tends to overshadow the players who are trying to make a difference. It overshadows the good works of the men who take the money they make and use it fund amazing charities. They use their fame to bring attention to causes that need voices and champions. As many of you know, wounded vets face huge struggles when they return home. There are other organizations that work to support them when they get home, like the Wounded Warrior Project. These service members need all the help, support, and love we can give them.
The fact that Jared Allen is doing something to take care of vetrans should make us proud to be fans of the NFL and Jared Allen, not just today, but everyday.
To join Allen’s cause or to learn more, visit www.homesforwoundedwarriors.com