Division of Athletics To Recognize Wounded Warriors During This Saturday’s Home Opener
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo Division of Athletics will honor our nation's wounded heroes during their football home opener against Stony Brook as part of Saturday's Heroes Day activities. In partnership with Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Buffalo has invited a wounded warrior to take part in the team's Walk to Victory as well as the opening coin toss. The wounded warrior will also be part of the team's pre-game meal earlier on Saturday.
Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower these wounded warriors and make this the most successful, well-adjusted generation of veterans in our nation's history.
Wounded Warrior Douglas J. Stelmach will be honored at the game. Stelmach is a Buffalo native, who served in a combination of active duty from 1984 through January 2011. He has served in places such as Bosnia, Egypt, Germany, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. His significant military awards include Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service, Joint Service Commendation & Army Commendation (silver oak leaf).
"We couldn't be more excited to have a local soldier take part in our pre-game festivities and really be a part of what we are trying to do," said football head coach Jeff Quinn. "The Wounded Warrior Project is something we are very proud to be a part of and I can't wait have LTC Stelmach spend some time around our football team so they can understand the sacrifice that he, as well as so many others, have made to help us and our country."
"Wounded warriors are models of service and dedication, and being publicly recognized for their sacrifices at events like this can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them," said Steve Nardizzi, Executive Director of Wounded Warrior Project. "Our hope is that these warriors also inspire the teams and fans around the country as they share their stories of recovery and resiliency."
Over 44,000 service members have been physically wounded during the current military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands more are estimated to be recovering from invisible wounds of war, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
For more information on WWP, please visit woundedwarriorproject.org.
In addition to its partnership with WWP, UB's Division of Athletics will recognize police, fire, EMS and Armed Forces serving across the country in a special pregame ceremony, including a C-130 flyover provided by the Niagara Falls 914th Air Base.
The UB Bulls coaching staff will wear limited-edition Heroes Day caps provided by New Era Cap Company.
"All of us should remember to take the time to count our blessings this week, on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and think about the families and people who have lost their lives and loved ones," said Quinn. "It's a significant weekend for a lot of people and we are very, very excited to be able to take part in something as meaningful as the Wounded Warrior project and honor nearby police, fire and service men, our own local heroes."
Tickets are available by calling 1-877-UB-THERE, by logging on to BuffaloBULLS.com or on game day at UB Stadium.