Pat Tillman’s perseverance and determination as both a sportsman and a soldier are legendary. In 2014, the ESPY Awards decided to pay tribute to that legend.
The ESPYS gather top celebrities from sports and entertainment to commemorate the past year in sports by giving awards for major achievements and performances. The Pat Tillman Award for Service honors an individual with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes Pat’s legacy. The award was introduced at last year’s ESPYS with U.S. Paralympic gold medal sled hockey player and Purple Heart recipient Josh Sweeney receiving the award. is one of the newest ESPY, honoring an individual with a strong connection to sports who has served others in a way that echoes Pat’s legacy.
When Danielle Green lost her left arm to a rocket-propelled grenade explosion while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq in 2004, it was not the veteran-athlete’s first hurdle she had to overcome, and it wouldn’t be her last. Raised by her grandmother on the rough streets of Chicago’s South Side, Green had willed her way to Notre Dame, where she thrived as a serious student and standout member of the women’s basketball team. With the same determination, she set her sights on serving her country after graduating and is now a proud Purple Heart recipient. For her strength through adversity and continued commitment to her country, Danielle Green will be honored with the Pat Tillman Award for Service at The 2015 ESPYS Presented by Capital One on July 15.
One of the first female troops injured in Iraq, Green returned home without the dominant arm that had propelled her basketball career. Despite this, she returned to school, earned her master’s, and devoted herself to helping other service members. Today, she works for the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Supervisory Readjustment Counseling Therapist at the South Bend Vet Center near her alma mater. She provides post-war veterans and their family members and veterans who report military sexual trauma with readjustment counseling services. She provides quality care to those combat veterans who suffer from the mental scars of war while assisting them with their transition to civilian life.
In 2014, the inaugural recipient of the Pat Tillman Award for Service was Josh Sweeney, a Purple Heart recipient and a member of the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team that won the gold medal at the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
Sweeney became a bilateral amputee after being injured by an improvised explosive device in October of 2009 while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps in Afghanistan. An able-bodied hockey player throughout high school, the war veteran was immediately drawn to sled hockey during his rehabilitation and worked his way to becoming a forward for the U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team.
Sweeney scored the game-winning goal in the 2014 gold medal game against Russia, leading Team USA to its second straight gold at the Paralympics.
Be sure to check back for details on the 2016 ESPYS