A collection of letters and emails from around the world as well as links to related sites.
2LT Corey A Walsh
A soldier's letter to a friend explaining why he is involved with Kick For Nick.
school, he was a friend of my brothers. While I did know Nick, it wasn't until
my Junior year of college, when he was killed in Baqubah in 2006, that I knew
he had joined the Army.
Shortly before I graduated college I decided to join the Army and go to
Officer candidate School or OCS. When I heard of the Kick for Nick program I
knew immediately that I wanted to be a part of Nick's dream to bring soccer
balls to the kids of Iraq. Before I left for OCS I made sure to put a few soccer
balls in the collection bin outside the Village Market, hoping that soon I
would be the one passing them out in Iraq. Sure enough, here I am in Iraq
after 14 months of training, passing out these soccer balls that might as well
be solid gold. I cannot begin to describe for you the enormous impact each
soccer ball has on the kids and the community.
Kick for Nick has become such a success that the new Commander of CENTCOM
Gen. David Petraeus has written a letter to it supporters and the Madaras
The very first shipment of soccer balls Mr Madaras and the supporters of
Kick for Nick sent made an enormous impact. Our plan was relatively simple, go
into a neighborhood and see if any locals would trade us a weapon for a
soccer ball. To be honest I was expecting moderate results, AK-47s are a way of
life in Iraq, as common as a baseball mitt in a garage. Before we had walked
down the first street, people were running up to us with weapons wanting to
trade for a soccer ball. I couldn't believe it. Within the first hour, we
had run out of soccer balls and returned to the FOB with 37 weapons from just
one small neighborhood. We have done this a few more times with equally
remarkable results. Once the Battalion 2-30IN heard about the result, I was
soon inundated with requests for soccer balls, which Mr Madaras and Kick for
Nick were quick to fill. We have received well over 300 soccer balls all of
which have helped form a bond between the Iraqis and the unit which has served
in drastically reducing violence in our small piece of New Baghdad. As far as
I'm concerned each soccer ball may very well be responsible for saving the
life of a U.S. Soldier. We could always use more soccer balls. The more
people can send the better off we are, truly. Nick's dream has affected so many
people all over this country. Kick for Nick ships soccer balls to units all
over Iraq, Nick had it right, start with the kids and you can change a
country. And while these little tokens of friendship may not save Iraq from the
insurgency overnight, they may very well provide the foundation for a change.
And that's all we as soldiers and citizens can ask for. A soccer ball in the
hands of a child is an instant conversation without using words. It bridges
the language barrier instantly.
Keep in mind this is just one guy's observation of a small piece of the
puzzle over here. I am so grateful to be associated with this amazing
organization and am honored to be carrying out Nick's dream.
2LT Corey A Walsh
Chaos Company 2-30 IN
Links to Related Sites:
- Nicholas Madaras Memorial Site www.NicholasMadaras.com
- Homes For The Brave www.homesforthebrave.org
- Wilton Rotary Club www.WiltonRotaryClub.org
- The American Legion www.Legion.org
- Major League Soccer www.mlsnet.com
- Connecticut Junior Soccer Association www.cjsa.org
- FC Unity - a London-based international not-for-profit organisation which aims to provide a platform for development and education through a series of football-based programmes.
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