Super Bowl party benefits wounded warriors
February 6, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS (Army News Service, Feb. 6, 2012) -- Just days before Super Bowl XLVI, Jim McMahon, the retired NFL, two-time Super Bowl champ, hosted the Fourth Annual Swang N' Super Bowl Bash at the historic Rathskeller where charity donations from NFL players and celebrities were raised to benefit wounded warriors.
Joining in the festivities were deployed Indiana Guard Soldiers and Airmen of the 4-19th Agribusiness Development Team who spoke live from Afghanistan with Indiana Adjutant General Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger, McMahon, and other athletes and celebrities, via a satellite feed.
Umbarger expressed his gratitude to the wounded warriors for their service and sacrifice.
"I'm honored that I can even be around these heroes, and that's what I call them is heroes," said Umbarger. "First of all, they volunteered to wear the uniform of this nation. They've suffered tremendous injuries. They've gone on with their lives. For me to be able to be here and meet them is really special. I really value it a lot."
"We wouldn't be able to live in this country as freely as we do without the sacrifices of the military," said McMahon. "It's always been a passion, to meet some of these kids that come home injured and the stories that they can tell. Whatever it is we can do to help these guys out is why we do this event."
Double Purple Heart recipient, retired Marine Sgt. Klay South of Indianapolis commented on the camaraderie of his fellow service members.
"It's a good time, no matter where I'm at, as long as I have some brothers that are in the military. We could be sitting in a hallway drinking water and still have a good time," he said.
U.S. military members from across the nation were honored and welcomed at the 2012 NFL Super Bowl celebration, Feb. 2, as part of the Super Bowl Military Appreciation Day.
The celebration included 10 days of themed events such as Super Fans, Super Families, Super Cure and Thursday's event, Super Heroes, honoring men and women in uniform.
Thousands of people gathered in celebration, shoulder to shoulder on the streets of downtown Indianapolis' Super Bowl Village to experience the Super Bowl buzz of live music, food and fanfare. Popular musical artists, Gym Class Heroes, B.o.B and the All-American Rejects, performed live.
"I'm proud of Indianapolis and the great job we're doing," said Umbarger. "This is just the beginning; we have two and three events each day (leading up to Super Bowl Sunday) for those that have served."
Interactive combat simulators were set up by recruiters for people to experience military training, and the recruiters were on hand to provide information.
Several recruits were officially sworn in on stage, and patriotism was palpable as fans began to chant "USA" after Indiana National Guard Staff Sgt. Betty White sang the National Anthem. Rapid Fire, a rock band consisting of several members of Indiana's 38th Infantry Division, played at the Huddle Room, and the Honor Guard displayed colors.
Additionally, NFL players, Colts cheerleaders and team mascot, Blue, met with hundreds of Soldiers and their families at Camp Atterbury, Ind., about 30 miles south of Indianapolis. The event featured autographs, photos, food, beverages, and a question-and-answer session with NFL players.