Nov. 9, 2011
Tallahassee, Fla. — Florida State University will honor members of the armed forces who have been injured during conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan during the football game against Miami on Saturday. In partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), wounded warriors Bret Turpin, Wileen Footman and Rob Vickers will be recognized during the game.
Bret Turpin, a Special Forces ranger was injured in Iraq in 2003. Turpin suffered numerous wounds which required over 15 surgeries. Turpin received the Purple Heart, CIB and bronze star for his patriotism.
Wileen Footman, a Tallahassee native has served two terms overseas, being deployed to Iraq in 2005 and then Afghanistan in 2010. Footman currently works for the Florida Department of ENvironemental Protection.
Rob Vickers is our thrid true hero. He has enlisted numerous times, including the Marine Corp in 1994, Army National Guard in 2001, where he was one of the first responders at Ground Zero and then re-enlisted in 2002 to join the Air Force.
“It is with great enthusiasm that Florida State participates in the Wounded Warrior project,” said FSU Director of Athletics Randy Spetman. “We welcome the opportunity to relay the message that we appreciate the sacrifice and courage of those serving in our military around the globe.”
“Wounded warriors are models of service and dedication, and being publicly recognized for their sacrifices at events like this can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them,” said Steve Nardizzi, Executive Director of Wounded Warrior Project. “Our hope is that these warriors also inspire the teams and fans around the country as they share their stories of recovery and resiliency.”
Over 44,000 service members have been physically wounded during the current military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands more are estimated to be recovering from invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Wounded Warrior Project Public Service Announcements will also be played throughout the game. For more information on WWP, please visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
NACDA, now in its 47th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,500 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 2,300 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention. Additionally, NACDA administers 11 professional associations that come under the umbrella of the athletics director. For more information, visit www.nacda.com.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project™ (WWP) is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org