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A sporting view of service transcends political profit

Derek Joy

Derek Joy

A sporting view of service transcends political profit

By Derek Joy

And just like that, it all came into focus.

Ah, yes. The frolic and fun of Halloween is in the rear view mirror and Veteran’s Day looms on the horizon.

This is the time when America honors it brave men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. In alphabetical order:  Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy and the reservists, including Air National Guard.

So, as media reports showed members of the Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat volunteering in the community to help veterans and their families,  Fritz Ettienne, Jr. and Damian Parms.

Gotcha. Names that are not quite in the household category. But are good examples of that unique form of service. You see, Ettienne and Parms are college student athletes.

That’s right. Both were coached by Monsignor Pace High School Head Football Coach Mario Smith, who co-founded and stages the Broward Dade Public -Private All Star game.

Service. That is. Beyond politics or the search for personal gain. Ettienne first attended a junior college and was awarded a scholarship to Memphis State University, where he is a lock down safety.

Parms was awarded a scholarship to Florida Atlantic University, where he is also a lock down safety. Teammates, they were.  And most likely will play on Sundays once this season is over.

Interesting thing is how athletes can toil in the private and small high schools, yet thrive on the big stage of college competition. Even more interesting is how a significant number of professional football players compete at colleges and universities that don’t get the big time recognition.

Consequently, a sporting view of service can reflect a parallel to military service.

Veterans didn’t seek the big stage in the public’s eye.  Still, there service was invaluable.  Such is what led to America be found of a fight for freedom life in a democracy where capitalism is the driving force.

So it is, that Veterans have been the ones chosen to fight, even die, to preserve American democracy and protect her own. Obviously, therein lies more than enough reason to honor those who live the life of U.S. Armed Forces Veterans.

Seeing those players of the Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat – President Pat Riley, included – just sort of renews hope that Veterans are not forgotten. Perhaps those career politicians, fresh off the 2014 mid term elections, ought to take notice.

Equally the same for sporting fans. They should take note of Veterans.  They should also take note of the service in the athletic talents of Ettienne and Parms. The will to win is no less strong in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

It is no less dominant in the play of Ettienne and Parms. Just a reminder to enjoy a reflective Veterans Day.


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