Former New York Giants defensive end and current host of ABC’s Good Morning America Michael Strahan is a busy man, but his schedule isn’t so full that he can’t make a difference in the lives of combat veterans.
Strahan announced that for every set of 25 push-ups completed, he will donate a piece of his signature gear to Merging Vets and Players (MVP), an organization the brings combat veterans and former professional athletes together “after the uniform comes off,” so they can grow through physical fitness and peer-to-peer support.
Founded by FOX Sports NFL Insider Jay Glazer in 2015, MVP houses gyms in L.A. and Las Vegas that cushion the transition warriors often struggle with after they’re done serving in the military.
Celebrities like Chris Pratt, John Krasinski and Sly Stallone have taken on the #MVPChallenge, and challenged others in the spotlight to the task.
Big-time MVP supporter and former Army Green Beret and Seattle Seahawks long snapper Nate Boyer posted his video, and even sang a little tune during his 25 before challenging NFL players like Chris Long, Justin Pugh and Marquise Goodwin.
— Nate Boyer (@NateBoyer37) August 20, 2018
MVP helps veterans like former Marine and MVP program coordinator Denver Morris, who attempted suicide three times after deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s an outlet for people like NAVY veteran A.J.Perez, who tried to drink his problems away before finding the organization.
“It’s the invisible wounds that hurt the most. Nobody can see them so nobody knows,” he told NFL Network in their short 360 film.
The gym is more than just mixed martial arts training. It’s a roadmap of sorts, and a venue to lean on others for support.
“The best way to describe MVP is, whether you’re a war fighter or a professional athlete, when that uniform comes off, how can we find purpose in our life moving forward?” Boyer said.
When Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area in 2017, MVP even deployed about 20 veterans and former professional athletes to assist with rescue efforts and aid.
Twenty-five push-ups to contribute to a mighty cause like that? Who can say no? It’s no wonder Strahan is all in.