Alabama military officer’s non-profit helps deployed troops have a piece of the home team
Every weekend during the fall University of Alabama alumnus Jordan Thompson joins many of his fellow football fans in the Yellowhammer State in turning on the TV, donning his team’s colors, and yelling a big “ROLL TIDE” at kick off.
But Jordan Thompson is more than just an avid sports fan, he’s an Infantry Officer in the Army National Guard. Now, as a law student planning to transfer his military service to JAG, Thompson and two other service members are working to make sure deployed troops also have a chance to cheer on their own home teams, no matter where across the globe they may be.
Teams For Troops, a new non-profit organized by Thompson, fellow National Guardsman Josh Pagonis, and Marine Captain Michael Krause, assembles donations to fund care-packages from sports teams and their fans to deployed military personnel.
According to their website, the care-packages include necessity items such as toiletries and snacks as well as sports memorabilia and equipment. Additionally, when the troops return to the United States, they will have the opportunity to attend sporting events with their families free of charge. Furthermore, a portion of donations are used to fund research concerning traumatic brain injury; a growing issue for veterans and athletes alike.
“I saw a problem and thought we could find the best possible solution with respect to what we’re capable of here at home,” Thompson told Yellowhammer. “When military personnel are constantly dealing with physical as well as mental battle scars, professional and collegiate sports provide an escape, if only for a short amount of time.”
“Care packages from Teams For Troops aim to aid those moments, ultimately enhancing troop fandom through morale-boosting supplies affiliated with sports teams from that military unit’s region.”
“They’re fighting for the one team we’re all a part of so help us give them the opportunity to root for the sports team they enjoy the most,” said Thompson. “After all, from the playing field to the battlefield, our troops are fans too.”
To help kick things off for the new non-profit, Teams for Troops is giving away a pair of Alabama Football tickets. Every $10 contributed enters donors for a chance to win the tickets, which will be given away the week of October 4th, 2015.
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— Elizabeth BeShears (@LizEBeesh) January 21, 2015