Lettermen of the USA, a non-profit organization made up of former lettermen and coaches from colleges and universities across America, participated in the Semper Fi Task Force of North Alabama’s 11th Annual Heroes Week in Huntsville, Alabama. The celebration honored wounded veterans from across the nation, their families, and their caregivers. This year, 30 footballs were given out, creating countless memories for all involved. The donating schools include UAB, Notre Dame, Oregon, Southern California, Tennessee, Utah, Georgia, Alabama, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Washington, Auburn, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Kentucky.
“Throughout my whole life I have never owned or had anything of sentimental value. But now I have an Alabama football signed by Coach Nick Saban,” said Marine Corporal James Reeves.
He went on to say that the love, honor, and respect he received from everyone during Heroes Week, and the things he learned about himself, turned his life around.
David Gilmer, a former football player at The University of Alabama from Attalla, said, “I’m privileged to be a part of the Lettermen of the USA. We’ve been very fortunate to work with some of the finest men and women ever to serve the United States of America. It is one of the most awesome feelings ever when you’re able to be a small part of these great heroes’ life and to be able to just see the joy and tears coming from each of these wounded solders face as they’re being presented a autographed football from their favorite team.”
“We could not have done this momentous event without the help of coaches, military personnel, former football players and the huge number of volunteers that gave their time” said Darryl Fuhrman, Executive Director of Lettermen of the USA. “It is with my profound gratitude that I thank all involved in the event from last weekend.”
The idea of the Lettermen of the USA began after the 2011 tornado devastated Tuscaloosa and Birmingham, Alabama. To raise money for the relief effort, a flag football Iron Bowl game between former Alabama and Auburn players was organized and played at Spain Park High School in Hoover, Alabama. The organization expanded to include other former athletes outside of the Alabama and Auburn families. Lettermen of the USA continues to seek support for veteran service initiatives. The organization has little administrative cost and as such serves to provide nearly all funds raised to go to the direct benefit of the veterans served. The men in this organization are 100% volunteers of their time and resources to serve those who have served us all.
The Semper Fi Community Task Force is an all-service, all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit, veterans support organization. Their mission is to apply the values (honor, courage and commitment) and skills learned in military service to the nation to community service in the Tennessee Valley through volunteerism. They continue to focus on several service areas – Veterans and Youth Outreach, Community Support and Gold Star Racing as well two signature events – Heroes Week and Heroes Outdoor Adventures.
If you would like to be involved in future veteran support programs with the Lettermen of the USA, you can contact Darryl Fuhrman at LETTERMENofUSA@gmail.com.