Three years ago, Tyler Steinhardt and his high school friends saw an opportunity to support the troops through lacrosse. After watching an NBC Dateline video highlighting the hurdles veterans face when reentering society after deployment, Steinhardt founded Shootout for Soldiers, a 24-hour lacrosse game event in Baltimore, Md., to support U.S. military men and women.
To not only provide financial assistance, but also emotional and physical assistance, to American military members, all proceeds for Shootout for Soldiers went to the Wounded Warrior Project, Gary Sinise Foundation, Semper Fi Fund and Army Ranger Lead the Way Fund – a total of $175,000 this year.
With three Textron Systems businesses located in nearby Hunt Valley, Md., the event at McDonogh School posed a perfect opportunity for the company to support the U.S. military and the local community. For the second year, Textron Systems sponsored the event, which started Thursday, June 19, at 8:30 a.m. and ran into Friday morning. With the motto 24 Hours, 1 Game, 1 Goal. Support Our Troops, the event consisted of 24 one hour individual games with a continuous score throughout, and players ranging in age, skill-level and military affiliation.
More than a Game
After the U.S. Army paratroopers landed and several guests of honor were recognized for their service during the opening ceremony, military veterans manned two teams – appropriately dubbed the Stars and Stripes – to kick off the 24-hour game.
Among them was U.S. Marine Corps. veteran, Adam Jacquet, who lost his leg from an improvised explosive device (IED) in October 2011. This was his first Shootout for Soldiers game.
“I have been trying to get back into normal life again,” he said. “I played lacrosse in high school and always wanted to get back into it after the military. This was a great thing because they have a good relationship with Wounded Warriors. It is great to be supported, and in turn support the military by giving back.”
U.S. Marine Corps veteran Andrew Boozer also played in the veteran game with his son, Joseph, who hopes to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.
“Even though Shootout for Soldiers is centered on a lacrosse game, it is not about winning – it is bigger than that,” Boozer said. “It is about honoring those who serve and giving back to those who gave more than they should have, who gave everything to fight for our country.”
Fans from across the state and region filled W. Boulton Dixon Field around the clock to support family, friends and strangers who have fought for freedom. From men’s and women’s lacrosse players to food vendors to an auction, the event provided fun for all players and fans, and all proceeds from the auction, player registration and company sponsorships support the troops.
As a defense contractor, Textron Systems supplies products and solutions to support U.S. warfighters and their allies around the world. Events such as this, allow the company to honor their sacrifice with the same dedication and support.
“Textron Systems’ businesses clearly play an important role in supporting our warfighters,” Textron Systems Human Resources Director Jeff Smith said, “and we are proud to be able to sponsor an event like this to help make a difference in the lives of our veterans.”