Clinton McDonald is this year’s nominee for NFL Man of the Year from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He earned the distinction through his work with the community, and his specific outreach efforts to the military.
While the Buccaneers season is over, his efforts have not stopped. Continuing to work with USAA, he also paired with the Wounded Warrior Project recently to award tickets to Super Bowl 52 to two veterans.
He announced the gift on his twitter account this past week:
Through email, Clinton McDonald conveyed his continuing support of the military,
"“Being raised in a military family, I’ve grown to understand the services and sacrifices that our nation’s men and women commit to when they dedicate themselves to defend our country.”"
While he certainly isn’t alone in his support for the military, McDonald has often reflected on his own upbringing as a key component to why his focus has been so passionately directed in this direction. Not surprising as many NFL players choose to support causes or communities which hit close to home.
The two veterans benefiting from this most recent effort by the Bucs’ defensive tackle are Helmer Jonathan Flores Rivera and Ronald Holton.
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Flores served in the United States Army from 2005-2009 stationed overseas in Schweinfurt, Germany. During his time in service, he was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom where the vehicle he was in was hit by an improvised explosive device. His unit also received small arms fire in the attack, and Flores eventually received a medical retirement due to the injuries suffered on that day.
Since then, the former Corporal has been heavily involved with the Wounded Warrior Project’s Peer Support program, which aims to aid other veterans in dealing with, and living with the challenges many are faced with today.
Holton served in the United States Marine Corps and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq during his four years in uniform. It was during his deployment to Afghanistan Holton was wounded by enemy small arms fire. After leaving the Marine Corps, the Corporal utilized the “Warriors to Work” program; another branch of the Wounded Warrior Project.
Both men reside in the Tampa area, and both will bring family members with them to the big game as well. Flores will be taking his son, while Holton’s wife will be accompanying him.
In this season of slow news for teams outside of the Super Bowl chase, it’s good to see Buccaneers players continuing their efforts off the field and using their platforms to make a difference in the lives of others.
Together, the player and these two military focused organizations have certainly given these two veterans and their families an experience they’ll never forget.
"“Teaming up with USAA and Wounded Warrior Project to award Jonathan and Ronald a trip to the Super Bowl is just a small token of our appreciation for all that our men and women in uniform do for us.” – Clinton McDonald"
McDonald is a former Super Bowl champion from his time with the Seattle Seahawks. The 31-year old is an eight-year veteran of the NFL and will become an unrestricted free-agent and the start of the 2018 league year this March.
The team would be well served to bring him back, and the Tampa community with it’s heavy military presence, would certainly continue to benefit from all he and his family do in support of them.