Linebacker Donnie Edwards (above left) played 13 seasons (1996-2008) with the Chiefs and Chargers and he twice won All-Pro honors. He also was our NFL Alumni Linebacker of the Year in 2004. Quite a FIRST career!
Yet, Edwards’ impact has been even greater off the field in recent years. He has spent the last two decades giving back to our U.S. military.
He has traveled on numerous overseas USO tours, visited many military bases and has accompanied hundreds of World War II and Viet Nam veterans back to their battlefields.
Edwards is Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit Best Defense Foundation which is focused on helping our military vets and their families. The Foundation’s mission is “Take Care of the Ones who Took Care of Us.”
“Several years ago,” Edwards recalls, “I was sitting around talking with some military vets and told them I was going to Normandy. One of them said he’d love to go back but couldn’t afford it. He didn’t have the means. I said ‘Well, I’ll take you’.”
Edwards, to no one’s surprise, kept his promise. He has
traveled with our military heroes to Normandy, Iwo Jima, Belgium, Holland and
other countries around the world. He has paid the expenses for the vets either
out of his own pocket or through his Foundation.
“It’s about giving
the vets an opportunity to go back with their brothers so they can find closure
after all these years,” he explains about taking men—and women—back
where they were based decades ago. “They can experience the camaraderie
and brotherhood again that many of them never really had after they got back to
Donnie Edwards, we at NFL Alumni salute you for your work not only on this Veterans Day Weekend but throughout the year.