Heroes of Heinz Field

Uploaded by VeteransHealthAdmin on 31.10.2008

Daniel Sepulveda Steeler Punter: Alright everyone who wants to
kick lets gather round and pay attention for a second, we will
go through some basics then we will string a few. How's that sound?
Narrator: This is not your normal NFL practice (sound of
kicking football) in the city were football is king it was
the military veterans who were treated like royalty.
Western Pennsylvania OEF/OIF veterans went from the
battlefield to the football field when VISN 4 and the
Pittsburgh Steelers teamed up to provide a few hours of fun for
the veterans and their families.
Robert Kaminski Veteran: I've been a Pittsburgh Steeler fan
all my life so it's a great feeling to come out here and
talk to the guy's more or less one to one. (sound of kick)
Narrator: Steelers players came to Heinz Field on their day off
to spend time with over 120 veterans and guests.
Greg Warren Center: We love to help out, we love to do things
like this in the community. It's even more special for us
when it has something to do with our veterans, who they've gone
out and risked their lives to protect us and serve their
country, so a lot of these guys maybe in awe of us but at the
same time we're in awe of them. They're the real heroes; they're
the guys who put their lives out there everyday.
Dan: Thank You. Mewelde: Anytime brother, anytime.
Mewelde Moore Running Back: You just want to be supportive and
listen, be an open ear and listen. I am just wanting to be
in support of them as they have been supporting our country
and protecting our country for so long.
Narrator: Not only were the veterans and their guests
able to meet and talk with the players but they were also
given the opportunity to (sound of) punt, (sound of) pass and
(sound of) kick with the pros.
Robert Kaminski: It was really the first time trying to kick a
football since my accident. It's a great feeling being able to
kick a field goal.
Narrator: Kickers, punters, lineman and running backs spent
about two hours with the veterans, which included
amputees and others who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder or have a Traumatic Brain Injury. The spirit of
these wounded warriors did not go unnoticed.
Greg Warren: They don't have setbacks going through the
injuries they had to go through. It's gotta be tough and
they come out here and they are smiling, they are having fun.
They're kicking the ball, throwing the ball. It's
encouraging it shows the human spirit is strong. You know these
guys are courageous for it.
Daniel Mcguire veteran: A year ago I didn't think I'd be here
but I'm just lucky, I don't know what else to tell you but that.
Sound of camera shutter
Narrator: The day ended with a group picture with the Steelers
a tailgate buffet dinner and a few words from Steeler President
Art Rooney II.
Art Rooney II Steeler President: We just want to say thank you
for everything you have done for us. You make it possible for us
to come here and enjoy football games at Heinz field on Sundays.
Narrator: Veterans got autographs and took photographs
with some of their favorite players but VISN 4 director Mike
Moreland hopes that they also took home a message.
Mike Moreland VISN 4 Director: It came about because of a
concerted effort to reach out to returning veterans from Iraq and
Afghanistan so that they know the VA is here for them.
So that was one of the major goals and the other was to let
the vets who have returned and are receiving care at the VA
know that people appreciate their service and sacrifice. So
by doing that tonight we have been able to do both of those things I think.