“I cannot believe how time just speeds by…what a thrill it has been with this Shootout for Soldiers team.”
Three years ago, Harry Jacobs listened to a description of a 24-hour long lacrosse game to benefit our Veterans. Two months ago, Jacobs hoisted a check alongside hundreds of spectators and volunteers after throwing the largest Shootout for Soldiers in history. And it all started with an application.
“In 2013 I heard about Shootout for Soldiers from a US Lacrosse friend on a phone call. Having a son who had just deployed to Afghanistan for the 2nd time, I felt a need to do something to help the effort. And being able to combine my love of lacrosse with helping our Veterans and troops was it. So, I picked up the phone and reached out to Tyler Steinhardt who was the contact in Baltimore who started it with his High School friends. Meeting Tyler and sharing our passion for lacrosse and our Veterans was a breath of fresh air for me. Tyler and his crew restored my faith in the youth of America.”
Getting the Ball Rolling
“So that was the start of our Partnership. I knew my association with our local Chapter of US Lacrosse would be a huge help to get the ball rolling and we formed a committee of 12 people for our first Shootout for Soldiers in Long Island. What happened from there and for the next three summers has been truly amazing. Bringing the lacrosse community together at this event along with our Military, Veterans, our charities, players, men, women, boys, and girls will just warm your heart. Why should any other area host a Shootout for Soldiers? Well all I can tell you is the Long Island Shootout for Soldiers has been the #1 lacrosse event I have ever been involved with and just maybe outside of marrying my wonderful wife and raising our children…one of the most cherished accomplishments in my life.”
“To see the look on a Veteran’s face or a current Soldier or Sailor when an 8 year old girl or boy shakes their hand and says “Thank you for your service” will bring a tear to your eye. That I never expected and that is what is so great about the Shootout….you are always surprised as the event unfolds by the little things….a son being able to play for the first time with his Dad or Mom on the same team, a soldier who lost his legs to an IED taking the field for the first time since his injury and having a great time..the special needs teams being a part of the event…the Vietnam Veteran who tears up because you said ‘thank you for what you did sir’ and ‘welcome home.'”
So…Why Host in 2017?
“Because you and your team will get much more out of it than you think…because you showed you cared. It’s just the right thing to do for our Veterans and troops. Raising funds and raising awareness of the challenges that our Veterans face when they return to civilian life is so important. So, I would encourage anyone who is thinking of hosting SFS to just jump in and do it! You will have a great support team in Tyler and his squad as well as the current organizers from around the country in the other 8 cities!”