MIAMI HEAT'S PAT RILEY, CHRIS BOSH
SUPPORT U.S. TROOPS
By Ira Winderman
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Miami Heat President Pat Riley and Heat
center Chris Bosh spent Monday, Nov. 3 working with America's Moms
for Soldiers at AmericanAirlines Arena to help prepare care packages
for U.S. troops based in Afghanistan in advance of Veteran's Day.
Bosh's participation was part of his
work with his Team Tomorrow foundation.
The packages, which will be shipped to
active members of the U.S. military, contain fleece blankets,
hygiene items, snacks and more, as well as a personal letter
thanking them for their service.
"It means a lot to me," Riley said,
"just because of the respect, I think, level that needs to be shown
to all of the military personnel around the world, to honor them
with our efforts. How big or how small is irrelevant. It's the fact
that we're going to do something recognizing this organization.
"This is great to be part of it."
Among those also participating Monday
were Heat players Chris Andersen and James Ennis, coach Erik
Spoelstra, members of the U.S. Army as well as volunteers from
Miramar High School's girls basketball team and their coaches.
"It's special for me only to know that
something so small can help out for guys who are contributing
overseas," Bosh said. "My wife and I tell the story every year, we
both have family members that get deployed and go in and out of the
country, I've been alone before and out of the country and away from
home, and it's tough.
"But just to know that something as
simple as a care package can make guys smile, especially guys who
are sacrificing so much for this country."
In 2006, Riley launched the Heat's Home
Strong initiative, an ongoing program where members of the U.S.
military who have returned home are saluted during before each Heat
"This year there still are many
Americans displaced in places where they probably shouldn't be,"
Riley said, "but they are because of we as a country care about
other people in other parts of the world.
"When you spend time in a war zone, and
again, I can't relate to it, because I've never been there. It must
be an incredible sense of courage. So we want to continue to support
that forever, if we could."
America's Moms for Soldiers is a Pompano
Beach-based nonprofit with an all-volunteer staff that has mailed
more than 50,000 care packages during the past five years. Working
with chaplains and officers, America's Moms' mission is, "To never
let a soldier walk away from mail call with nothing." The group
specifically targets troops who do not receive regular mail.