Tab Bamford, December 7, 2013
These days, the average career of an NFL player is less than four seasons, according to the NFL Players Association. A kicker from Michigan State nicknamed "The Great Dane" spent an unheard of 25 seasons employed by the NFL and remains the all-time leading scorer with 2,544 points.
Morten Andersen spent his lengthy career playing for teams around this great country. Now he's working to help the families of the brave men and women who protect it.
Earlier this week, Andersen's latest teammates, the good people at Operation One Voice, were proud to announce the success of "Operation St. Nick," a program managed by Special Teams for Special OPS that will ensure Christmas morning is bright for 362 children of fallen and wounded Special Operations Forces troops.
The Morten Andersen Family Foundation has worked with Operation One Voice for the last five years to help raise money, but recently the two launched a more formal partnership in the form of Special Teams for Special OPS. This new effort supports the families of fallen or injured members of the Special Operations military community.
"Christmas is a time for family and good cheer, but too often our Special Ops troops can't be home with their families," said Bill Stevens, CEO of Operation One Voice. "The best Christmas gift these children, and the children of all our military families, could receive this Christmas morning would be their mom or dad. But until that day happens, we will continue to stand in support of our Special Operations Forces families."
Stevens, who has been working with the families of Special Operations Forces since 9/11, said the impact of having Andersen involved has been enormous.
"I don't have access to the types of people that Morten does," said Stevens. "But he's taken ownership of our relationship and has been so committed to working with us to take care of these families."
The logistics of providing Christmas for these kids can be tricky because of the nature of their parents' work. Operation One Voice works directly with United States Special Operations Command's Care Coalition. In turn, the Care Coalition coordinates with four Special Operations Commands to identify the families who need assistance. This year, Operation One Voice will purchase $36,250.00 in Wal-Mart gift cards and the Care Coalition will deliver them to the identified families before the holidays.
To learn more about the Morten Andersen Family Foundation, go to: http://www.mortenandersen.com/main/foundation
For more about Special Teams for Special OPS, go to: http://www.specialteamsforspecialops.com/
To learn more about Operation One Voice, go to: http://www.operationonevoice.org/