Wounded Warrior Project®
In January, the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) Prairie Stars celebrated the tenacious spirit of injured service members during Wounded Warrior Night at the men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader. It may have been a bitter winter day outside, but inside the Recreation and Athletic Center five local service members were welcomed with warmth and gratitude from spectators and team members in recognition of their military accomplishments. The honorees, accompanied by one faithful service dog, received a standing ovation as they were invited on-court to be personally greeted and thanked by players and staff from the UIS men’s basketball team. With special courtside seats to catch all of the action, the veterans served as the guests of honor for both the women’s and men’s basketball games.
Army veteran Ashti Dawson was among the five honored service members. “Attending this event as a veteran as well as a current UIS student was one of my greatest honors to date!” said Dawson. “The amount of pride exemplified from the audience, the basketball teams, as well as the support staff was absolutely wonderful, warming, and positively enduring. I am beyond thankful to have had this opportunity! Thank you, UIS and WWP!!”
To host a basketball event and learn more about inviting WWP veterans to enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience, please contact Amara Betoney at email@example.com.
This season, Northwestern University stepped up to the plate to honor a local injured veteran at every home basketball game. Bright lights reflected off the basketball court as Sterling Pollard entered Welsh-Ryan Arena and was escorted on-court for the national anthem. As the anthem played, Sterling was filled with a sense of pride after being recognized publicly for his service while his military accomplishments were broadcast to an enthusiastic crowd.
Plan now to create a game day experience that empowers our service members on their journeys to recovery. For more information, please contact Amara Betoney at firstname.lastname@example.org.