If you haven't heard.......OPERATION SOCCER BALL IS GROWING!
At Jazzercise customers and friends have been contributing to the efforts to assist Lt. Daniel Merritt (nephew of our instructor Eleanor Casale) in his efforts.
Please take a moment to read Lt. Merritt's latest message....and considering helping out.
We just partnered up with kickfornick.org, a program started to honor Nick Cevasco one of America's Finest who gave the ultimate sacrifice here in Iraq, it is another great organization that is helping bring soccer to kids in need. We also just got some hefty donations and many more balls are on the way. Buffalo Wild Wings has just sponsored Operation Soccer Ball and will be encouraging all customers to bring in deflated soccer balls in order to get more balls to the kids here in Iraq. The New England Revolution, also sponsored Operation Soccer ball and has donated hundreds of soccer balls.
This program is working and my platoon has been giving out soccer balls like candy over here in AL KUT. We are building new friendships, showing the Iraqi Police the power of community policing and the beauty of making kids smile "just because". We are sending the right message to the good people of Iraq, America Cares.
I have said this before and I believe this. Operation Soccer Ball has the ability to save lives. My platoon is constantly operating outside the wire, constantly patrolling with the Iraqi Police and training the Iraqi Police; this is what we do and we are great at it. On the flip side we are always exposed to the dangers here in Iraq. Military Police in general are always outside the wire and constantly risking our lives in the hopes to get Iraqi Security Forces where they need to be. We do this so when we leave Iraq, Iraq will be able to stand up on her own.
Operation Soccer Ball brings out the best in people, it creates a safety net for US Soldiers by creating positive relations wherever we go. We train, we fight, we rebuild, and we hand out soccer balls and play with the little ones, we make kids smile. We build friendships and repel the insurgency at the same time. It is hard to understand how handing out soccer balls can save a US soldiers life but try to think outside the box and you can see it as I do. We are spreading the joy of Soccer, building positive relationships, building Multi National cohesion, and providing great examples of community outreach and community policing for the future leaders of Iraq.
I have mentioned all the big sponsors that are getting involved but need to express the importance of individuals who have continued to send me balls.. Thanks so much.. This is where the majority of balls are coming from, individuals. They come in boxes, 1,2,10 at a time and it makes a world of difference to the kids here. This programs has been fueled by individuals who take a small amount of time to donate money to my site or send a box of balls to me over here in Iraq. I thank you all so very much for your generosity..
Please continue the support OSB and please continue to send balls and spread the word.. Check out OPERATIONSOCCERBALL.ORG to see the latest pictures and events. Thank you for helping the kids out over here. Thanks for keeping my soldiers safe...
1LT Daniel H Merritt
1/511th MP CO FOB (Forward Operating Base)
DELTA APO AE 09317