Chiefs Honor Veterans at VA Medical Center

Posted Dec 12, 2012

Each week former WWII prisoners of war (POW) from the Kansas City area meet as a support group at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center’s Hall of Heroes Community Room. The meeting this week however, was not the normal visit where they exchange stories, play cards, or brag about their grandkids, during Tuesday’s meeting the Kansas City Chiefs were in attendance. (Photo Gallery)

The Chiefs Community Caring Team joined with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for the annual holiday visit to the local VA Medical Center. The veterans were delighted to see the Chiefs players, cheerleaders, ambassadors and Red Coaters.

“It means so much to the veterans that (the Chiefs) take the time to come out and reaffirm just how special they are,” Michael Moore, Assistant Director of the VA Medical Center said. “We believe all of our veterans are special but I don’t want it to go unnoticed that we have an extra special group here. Every one of the veterans in this group is a former prisoner of war. We throw out the word hero a lot in our culture, but these are heroes.”

The heroes had a chance to interact with the Chiefs players, cheerleaders, ambassadors and Red Coaters and it was apparent from their beaming smiles that they were overjoyed and their spirits lifted.

“It was so great to meet some of these guys and the cheerleaders,” a former POW commented. “I got their autographs and my picture with them.”

The Chiefs were just as excited to be there as well.

“Today is a special day for the organization,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said. “It’s one of our favorite days of the year because we actually get to interact with prisoners of war and it’s so inspirational and perspective giving being able to spend time with them and hear their stories.”

The Chiefs were also given the opportunity to visit with the military personnel currently being treated at the VA Medical Center.

“We’re just trying to provide a smile, even if it’s only for a moment,” said Chiefs QB Brady Quinn, whose father was a U.S. Marine in Vietnam. “We know many things they’re going through right now can’t be easy and obviously a lot of times they’re life changing. We’re just trying to provide some encouragement and hope we can bless them with some sort of contentment and happiness.”

This is the third year the Chiefs have teamed with the VFW to make a series of goodwill visits to local military bases and outreach groups. Together, this partnership strengthens the team’s long-standing commitment to our armed forces.

“The partnership between the Chiefs and the Veterans of Foreign Wars is about giving back to those who have, who are and who will continue to give so much for the defense of this country and that’s our veterans, our service members and their families,” Mike Penny, Director of National Military Services said.

This annual visit to hospital gives the Chiefs a great chance to express their thanks to our veterans and current service men and women.

“This is an honor, it really is,” Chiefs QB Ricky Stanzi said. “They’ve given so much for our country, they’ve provided us with freedom and we get to do what we want to do every day because of them. Just to come back here for a couple hours and talk with them and share some time with them and others in the hospital, I think it’s really special.”

To show their appreciation for the veterans and the VA Medical Center, the Chiefs presented Moore with a game ball.

“At the end of each and every victory the head coach recognizes either an individual, a group, or an entire team for really going above and beyond to contributing to the success of that game,” Donovan explained. “We thought it was appropriate today to present a game ball on behalf of the Chiefs and the VFW to Michael Moore for everything that you do here.”

The military holds a special place in the Chiefs heart and over the past three years the Chiefs and the VFW have made many visits to local military bases and outreach groups to show support for our troops and their families.

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