I would consider myself a long-time supporter of Veterans' issues - from doing what I can to bring awareness to the POW/MIA groups and the issues they've been dealing with for years, to doing the small part I can do in supporting and encouraging candidates and legislation that benefits veterans, I would say that at most I've done a little bit to help. But only a little.
Guys like former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin are doing great work - Franklin is using his position as a prominent MMA fighter to support the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization.
Check after the jump for part of the story from MMA Junkie as well a link to the full article and a few more of my thoughts.
From MMA Junkie:
Former UFC middleweight champion and UFC 93 headliner Rich Franklin has joined the Disabled American Veterans organization as a spokesperson and ambassador.
Formal announcement of Franklin's involvement, which will be the basis of a tribute program called "Real American Fighters," will be formally announced on Tuesday (Veterans Day) during his visit to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, DAV officials have confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
Franklin has been a longtime supporter of the U.S. military and even left for the Middle East to visit troops in the hours immediately following his UFC 88 victory over Matt Hamill.
Franklin's Real American Fighters program will serve as a "tribute to the men and women of the U.S. military who have been wounded in defense of our freedom," according to the DAV.
The initiative will receive funding from limited-edition American Fighter T-shirts sold by Franklin and the apparel company, which he co-owns. He also recently filmed a public service announcement for the organization, and he will continue visiting disabled veterans on behalf of the DAV while serving as an ambassador between the DVA and the mixed-martial-arts community.
"I believe that no one should ignore, forget or disregard the sacrifice that the men and women who go to battle give," Franklin stated. "When I visit a disabled veteran who has lost a limb or has an injury so severe that their life is changed forever, I think we all need to get on our knees and thank God for these real American fighters."
Yet another great move by Franklin - this guy is tireless in his efforts to help out anybody he can. Taking this step to help the Disabled American Veterans is awesome. We need more people like him - not just in the mma community, but in the country - to step up and do their part.