Professional Athletes visit with SEALs, inspire Wounded Warriors and Youth

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Professional Athletes visit with SEALs, inspire Wounded Warriors and Youth

Mensaje por doc_breacher el Vie 18 Feb 2011 - 12:18

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Trevor Andersen, Naval Special Warfare

Group 2 Public Affairs



LITTLE CREEK, Va. -- A group of professional athletes visited Joint Expeditionary

Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Feb. 1 to meet Naval Special Warfare Sailors,

their families, and high school students from the local community.



After a tour of the NSW facilities, Julius Jones, James Molinaro, Chris Brown and Glenn

Earl from the National Football League and Scott Hairston, a Major League Baseball

player, met with wounded warriors and aspiring athletes at the SEAL Heritage Center

on base. They signed autographs, took photos, and spoke to service members about the

motivation and dedication required to become a professional athlete.



“We wanted to give back to the community that we support in SEALs and SWCC

personnel, especially the wounded warriors,” said Mark L. Donald, Deputy Director

of the Member Life Assistance Program with the UDT-SEAL Association. “Then we

wanted to pull in members of the Hampton Roads community. And we decided on a

youth outreach.”



When speaking to the students and service members, the athletes said they were

impressed with the level of professionalism in the NSW community and explained the

similarities between NSW and professional sports.



“What these guys do is a lot like what we do except the stakes are a lot higher,” said

Molinaro. “And it takes more than the guys on the field to get the job done. We have a

support staff just like they do and I think everyone deserves recognition for the part they

play.”





The athletes also encouraged students to pursue a career in professional sports if that’s

what they really want to do.



“I used to get so frustrated with my teachers at school,” Earl said to the theater full of

students and wounded warriors. “They’d ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up and



I’d say, ‘I want to play in the NFL.’ They always said, well what else do you want to do?

They never believed I would make it, but you know what? All of us here did it.”



One audience member asked the athletes about getting in to college. They all agreed that

they might not have made it in to the prestigious universities they graduated from had

they not been good athletes.



“I say use what you’ve got to get what you want,” said Earl. He said he went to play

football but ended up with college degrees.



Both wounded warriors and youth participants said a very positive message was

conveyed during the event.



“I spoke with principals and coaches after the functions, and they all said the same thing;

the kids felt good about coming, but the message was clear: college is more important

than going pro,” said Donald.


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