OPERATION TOUCHDOWN: Superbowl Rivalry supports USO
"My heroes are working on Super bowl Sunday. They wear helmets, protective clothing, and are ready to handle any defenses that they face. My heroes are the men and women of the United States Military. Some of these men and women will gather in sand covered tents in the early morning hours to watch the Super bowl -- not because they care about the outcome but more because it gives them a breif reminder of home. Please help me honor the sacrifice of these heroes with donations to the USO as we celebrate Super bowl XLI on February 4th, 2007."
-- MAJ David M. Seiter, Iraqi Veteran and organizer of "Operation Touchdown II"
Have you wondered what YOU can do to support our troops overseas?
In conjunction with the NFL and the USO, I am pleased to announce that Operation Touchdown II is in full effect. I have started a friendly rivalry with Lt. Col. Paula Jones, my unit's Public Affairs officer, an Illinois resident and Chicago Bears fan. Naturally, I am supporting my hometown Indianapolis Colts for Superbowl XLI. The challenge goes beyond which team will win on Super bowl sunday. Instead, we want to know which team's fans can generate the most support for our soldiers through the USO.
The USO has established a special website just for this mission. Please take a moment to visit www.uso.org/superbowl. At this site, the USO is taking donations on behalf of either the Colts or Bears. Each day the amounts will be updated so feel free to check back all week long to see which city is in the lead. Final totals will be announced on February 5th, 2007.
WHAT WAS THE ORIGINAL OPERATION TOUCHDOWN?
As many of you may recall, I was deployed to Iraq in 2003. Assigned to the Ministry of Justice, I worked with Colonel Cox, an officer from Louisiana, re-establishing the juvenile justice system. While COL Cox and I worked well together helping the Iraqi children, we often disagreed when it came to our favorite sport.... FOOTBALL! Each of us support our respective NFL teams-- the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints. Looking at the NFL Calendar in September 2003, we realized the Colts and Saints played each other on a nationally televised ESPN Sunday night game. Instead of betting on the outcome of the game, we made a "gentlemen's bet" on which city could provide the most team-related children's clothing for the Iraqi orphanages. Each of us informed our home town media outlets ab out the project and the packages began pouring in. In addition to the generous donations from the respective NFL teams, citizens from both states sent new and gently used jersey s, hats, and other team items. News quickly spread via the internet and we even received hundreds of Green Bay Packers hats that were sent by a church group in Virginia. All donations were greatly appreciated.
Operation Touchdown featured an all-day clinic for the Iraqi orphans in which we introduced them to the sport of American football. We held an all-day clinic for the Iraqi orphans which introduced them to the sport of American football. Additional soldiers volunteered to lead individual stations on "kicking", "passing/receiving", "rules of the game" and running/tackling". Each child received at least one NFL shirt, candy, and numerous other donated items. The Iraqi minister of Youth and Sport spoke to the group and the event received international media coverage.
The Colts fans beat the Saints fans in the competition for donations while the real Colts defeated the Saints 55-21 in the game. (I am hoping for the same result against the Bears in the Super Bowl!)
WHY WAS THE USO CHOSEN AS A BENEFICIARY???
Based on the successful season the Colts had this year, I decided to organize a new fund-raiser. I figured this "Operation Touchdown" should help the men and women of our military and thank the USO for the many benefits and services they provide to all branches of the military. Since I have been home, many people ask me what they can do to help our military during this time of war. This is a prime opportunity!
Since before the United States entered World War II, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been the bridge between the American public and the U.S. military. In times of peace and war, the USO has consistently delivered its special brand of comfort, morale and recreational services to the military. The USO, a congressionally chartered, private, nonprofit organization, relies on the generosity of individuals and corporations to support USO activities. Today, the USO delivers its programs and services at more than 130 locations around the world.
Beyond the donations, Operation Touchdown II intends to raise public awareness to the many benefits and services they provide to every member of our military. Please take a moment to look at the USO home website. The USO website also allows citizens to directly assist our military by working as USO volunteers.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP???
1. Donate (hopefully on behalf of the COLTS!)
2. If you are in a city with a USO chapter, please consider donating your time as a volunteer for the USO where you can see firsthand how your efforts impact our military.
3. Minimally, forward this message to people you know so that they are aware of the opportunity to assist our military.
HOW CAN YOU DONATE???
All donations should be made directly to the USO. (No individual is collecting money). Donations can be made at the web site www.uso.org/superbowl. For administrative purposes, the smallest donation that can be accepted is five dollars ($5). Alternatively, fans may also call in donations to 1-800-876-7469 or mail in donation checks to:
USO World Headquarters
PO Box 96860
Washington, DC 20090-6860