With Veteran's Day right around the corner, the Miami Dolphins teamed up with Bank of America on Thursday to do some renovations on the home of retired U.S. Army Staff Sergeant and super Dolphins fan Joe Reddick.
Reddick, 65, was honorably discharged after serving 21 years in the Army and was a part of both the Vietnam War and certain parts of the Gulf War, delivering supplies and worked with Mechanized Infantry.
"I feel appreciated," Reddick said. "I can't ask for nothing better. I served my country, and I feel that y'all appreciate what I did. And I appreciate all the other people that's high up that look out for me, and I'll never forget it."
For quite some time, Bank of America has been involved in serving those who have served America as part of the military, and in this case - with help from Dolphins alumni Lorenzo Hampton and the special teams volunteer group - they went to Reddick's home in Opa Locka and did some much-needed renovations, which included replacing flooring, interior and exterior painting, replacement of his stove, washer, dryer and landscaping.
"We've had a longstanding committment to the military, not just men and women that are serving today, but the veterans, and to get them - try to acclimate and transition them to civilian life," said Maria Alonso, Senior Vice President and Miami Market Manager for Bank of America. "Volunteer service is quite frankly, but one way. Other ways are we're hiring veterans, we've hit milestones in that over the past couple of years."
Veterans looking for jobs after their military careers has been something that many companies have starting putting a greater emphasis on in recent years, but that's only one part of how veterans can be thanked for their service. For some, the treatment of veterans after their careers is a personal matter, such as former Dolphins running back Lorenzo Hampton, who has many family members connected to the military.
"I'm just fortunate enough that they (the Dolphins) called me to do this project because it's something that - I look forward to paying it forward." said Hampton. "My father was in the military, he was an Army veteran. My two older brothers, one was in the Navy, one was in the Air Force, and my next brother - he's a little older than I am - he was an Army veteran too. A majority of my family was related to the military. They've done so much for our country, and this is just a small token to say, 'hey thanks, we appreciate what you're doing.'"
Often called America's heroes, the military men and women - both current and former - are responsible for keeping America safe from those who would do it harm. Risking their lives for those back home, there are no words that can be used to express the gratitude that should be afforded these brave soldiers. With this gesture, it's but a small thank you towards a group of people who have often gone above and beyond the call of duty.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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