December 11, 2013
MADISON, S.D. – This past Sunday (Dec. 8), members of Dakota State University athletic teams that are in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) gave a salute to service as they traveled down to the Sioux Falls Veterans' Hospital to spread holiday cheer and thank them for their generous service to our country.
The student-athletes also spent time writing personalized Christmas cards for the veterans to send to friends and families that they would not be able to see during the holidays. The trip was full of stories of high school football games many years past to basketball games just this past week. Stories of service and sacrifice also filled the trip as the Trojans visited with the veterans, leaving many of the Trojans feeling like they were the ones receiving the smiles and holiday cheer.
It was a worthwhile trip not only to show the veterans our thanks and appreciation, but also for the learning the Trojan student-athletes took away from it. "It was a humbling experience to meet new friends of all ages," said freshman Lady T's basketball player Rachelle Moore. "By giving others the joy I have found in Jesus, I was able to fully grasp the concept of the Christmas spirit and learn more about serving our great nation."
"This experience is something that every person should take time to do," stated Trojan Football player Spencer Carlson. "Humbling yourself to go out and remember those who don't always get to see their families for the holiday season and giving them presents that are not wrapped is a great way to give back to those who have given so much."
Steve Steele, assistant Trojan Football coach, coordinates the FCA program at Dakota State University. "It was something we had talked about doing a couple months ago as our service project for the semester and I am glad that it went as well as it did," he said. "It was easy to see the appreciation each of them had as we sat down and took the time to share a bit about our lives and hear some great stories they had to tell. Many of us actually found some connections between a family member of our own and the veterans we were speaking to, which made their stories that much better."
"I think our student-athletes did a great job and learned a lot from the trip while brightening the days of some of our nation's heroes along the way," added Steele.
For more information about FCA or if you are looking to join with the Trojan FCA program, e-mail Steven Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director