Helping Hands for Freedom is a 501c3 dedicated to supporting the families of the fallen, wounded and deployed.

Helping Hands for Freedom & 343 Foundation honors our military and first responders at the Notre Dame vs. Navy game

Posted October 9, 2015 by Rodney Smith


South Bend, Indiana - Saturday October 10, 2015 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Navy Midshipmen

Celebrating our 3rd Annual Warriors Weekend, it is an honor to recognize and support our military service members and our first responders who were injured in the line of duty. HHFF calls it our “Bucket-List” game where we bring our Heroes from across the country together to help them heal and share an experience that we hope lasts a lifetime.

Our Co-founder SSG Patrick Shannon, and David Roth, Chairman of the Board and Notre Dame alumni, will host our heroes that have been severely wounded.  Once again, the 343 foundation from 9/11 is partnering with our organization to show these warriors how much our Country still cares.

Friday afternoon the day starts with the private luncheon with the head coach of the Fighting Irish, Brian Kelly, then our group heads back to campus that night to enjoy a pep rally and then to dinner at the famous Oak Room. During dinner, the founder of the 343 foundation, Chris Stevens - head professor at the engineering school - and HHFF’s very own SSG Patrick Shannon are the keynote speakers.

The South Bend Fire Department generously houses all the soldiers for the weekend and on Saturday morning, our heroes wake up to a huge breakfast, and then they are honored in the game day parade with a full police escort. This is followed by the barbecue tailgate party provided by our HHFF team of volunteers.

All the soldiers get a game day shirt from Helping Hands for Freedom and Dog Tags to recognize their sacrifice. The “Admiral”, NBA Hall of Famer and Navy graduate, David Robinson, once again is here to talk to the soldiers and thank them for their sacrifice. Last year, defensive captain, Joe Schmidt, wore the Helping Hands for Freedom hat during the game on the sidelines. All the soldiers are treated to lower-level seats and VIP access.

The weekend closes with a bang where the healing process continues and the stories are told to release the heavyweight on their hearts. It is a special and unique experience; you can see the release of pressure on their souls when they are able to share their stories with people that understand what it is like to be wounded in action. After a lot of tears and laughter, you see the soldiers realize how special they really are. Sunday is off to the airport with a lot of memories and lifetime friends.

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