There is nothing more American than a professional athlete standing up for the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces and calling them the real heroes.
Those are the words Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee uses often when speaking about members of the military. And he did so again during his Red, White, and BOOMSTICK benefit at Sullivan’s on Saturday night.
But he did more than say it. With proceeds raised through his Pat McAfee Foundation, McAfee awarded two college scholarships to daughters of military members who wrote essays about their parents’ service to their country and what it meant to them.
There is no greater cause than giving back to the men and women who gave us this great country, who defend this country, and who continue to fight for this country on a daily basis. While we go about our lives, enjoying our freedoms, and taking too much for granted, the United States Armed Forces take nothing for granted.
McAfee has often said that what military service people do on a daily basis makes him look like a chicken.
I don’t know about the chicken part. What other punter regularly kicks the ball, then takes out the guy running with it?
McAfee was rewarded for his efforts with a $14 million dollar contract this spring that makes him one of the highest paid punters in the league. And Colts fans were rewarded as well, keeping one of their favorite players around for another five years.
Pat McAfee has become a fixture not only on the field, but in the Indianapolis community as well. He’s the face of the franchise (or at least a face of the franchise) and he’s the only punter in the National Football League who can say that.
But you won’t hear him say anything of the sort.
As a team guy, McAfee is the first to credit his teammates, the Colts organization, his family, and others for his success. Along with the men and women who protect his freedom to achieve and enjoy it.
“They are so much tougher and more heroic than I could ever be.”
-Pat McAfee on members of the U.S. military
Pat McAfee is right. They are the real heroes. They make all of us look small.
But saying it…and better yet, acting on it, makes McAfee a hero in his own right.
To the members of the U. S. Armed Forces past and present…we salute you.
To the military families who sacrifice so much…we salute you.
To Pat McAfee…we salute you.
And your BOOMSTICK too!