april 15, 2008

Superbowl Heroes, New York Giants give their Thanks to American Heroes

Members of the Giants organization, including Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, visited the hospital to thank all Veterans of wars past and present for their service and courage.

LYONS, NJ — The New York Giants visited the VA Medical Center’s Lyons Campus today to deliver autographed pictures and footballs to some of our Nations Veterans. In addition, the Giants signed six Superbowl XLII Champion Emblem footballs to be sent to units from New York and New Jersey serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Members of the Giants organization, including Linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka, visited the hospital to thank all Veterans of wars past and present for their service and courage. Along with the Superbowl Champions, the VA welcomed the support of The G.I. Go Fund, a non-profit organization that provides transition assistance to Veterans.

While addressing the group of Veterans, Kiwanuka expressed his personal gratitude for all the sacrifices the Veterans had made. “I know who the real heroes are, and I’m here to thank you for providing me the chance to play this game that I love.”

Members of the team made their way around the hospital to thank all of our Veterans and to deliver the autographed memorabilia; first visiting the nursing home to pay tribute to our Veterans, many of whom served in WWII, then proceeding to the Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) wing to spend some time with the soldiers from our current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It was really great to have the Giants come and show their support for our Veterans,” said G.I. Go President Jack Fanous. “They are a world-class organization that has helped so many people in the community over the years, and we’re just thrilled that they came and were so willing to help out our Veterans.”

In addition to the autographed Superbowl emblem footballs, G.I. Go will also include other items in care packages to units currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The balls and all other items are provided by the generosity of the The G.I. Go Fund’s donors.

“All of the Veterans were really happy to have the Giants come and visit them today,” said G.I. GO Vice President Alexander Manis. “They were all very excited to talk about the Superbowl with him [Kiwanuka], and he was very humble when speaking about it. It was amazing to see real life heroes communicating with great sports heroes.”

Along with our heartfelt thanks to Mathias Kiwanuka and the whole New York Giants franchise, we also would like to thank Mike Murphy of the Giants, Kenneth Mizrach, director of New Jersey’s VA facilities, and the entire VA staff for making this event possible for our brave men and women.