09/29/2006 5:47 PM ET
Johnny Damon joins the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP)
Yankees' center fielder to serve as official spokesperson for wounded soldiers
NEW YORK -- In a pre-game ceremony tonight at Yankee Stadium, New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon will announce his commitment to the Wounded Warrior Project, a not-for-profit organization aimed at assisting those men and women of the United States armed forces who have been severely injured during the war on terrorism. Joining Johnny on the field will be Wounded Warriors Robert Loria, Aaron Whitley, Garth Stewart, James O'Leary and Ryan Donnelly.
Johnny's father, Jimmy Damon, was a career Army NCO and Vietnam Veteran and instilled in his son a profound respect for the United States military.
"l have deep gratitude for the men and women that have been severely wounded while fighting for our freedoms and way of life," said Damon. "I have visited Walter Reed Army Medical Center and witnessed first-hand the enduring spirits of those recovering. My goal is to ensure their challenges and sacrifices are recognized."
Beginning at the bedside of the severely wounded, the Wounded Warrior Project provides programs and services designated to ease the burdens of these heroes and their families, aid in the recovery process and smooth the transition back to civilian life. Services provided by WWP include benefits counseling, rehabilitation, adaptive sports opportunities and advocacy initiatives.
"The Wounded Warrior Project is deeply thankful for Johnny Damon's commitment to our organization," stated Wounded Warrior Project Executive Director and Founder, John Melia. "Having the public support of such a well-respected athlete, wearing the legendary Yankees pinstripes, gives a world-wide voice to the severely wounded men and women WWP assists. Our motto is 'The Greatest Casualty is Being Forgotten' and with Mr. Damon's support, we will ensure that doesn't happen."
Over 20,000 soldiers have been injured in the current war on terror including amputations, gunshot wounds, traumatic brain injuries, burns and blast wounds that will retire these brave warriors from military service.
Said Yankees Chief Operating Officer Lonn Trost, "We are proud to have a member of the Yankees associated with the Wounded Warrior Project and support his commitment as a spokesperson for our wounded soldiers."
About the Wounded Warrior Project
The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a not-for-profit organization aimed at assisting those men and women of the United States armed forces who have been severely injured during the war on terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots around the world. Beginning at the bedside of the severely wounded, WWP provides programs and services designated to ease the burdens of these heroes and their families, aid in the recovery process and smooth the transition back to civilian life. For more information, please call (540) 342-0032 or visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.