With the first hints of baseball season in the air, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Terry Allvord may be eagerly lacing up his spikes for his 14th season leading the charge for the Navy Baseball Program, but he's proudly got more on his plate: Promoting a patriotic foundation honoring search and rescue heroes at home and our troops in the Persian Gulf.
In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 tragedy, Allvord took leave as a helicopter pilot at the U.S. Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island to assist in the efforts at the World Trade Center in New York City. It was there in the rubble among members of the military, firefighters, police officers and other state and government agencies that he received his inspiration for designing a symbol "for the 9-11 generation."
Immediately following President Bush's first speech at Ground Zero, Allvord along with volunteers went back to work digging out an NYFD hook and ladder truck. During countless hours of digging by hand they were able to recognize an American Flag decal on the back of the rig. In conversations with workers over the following days, many expressed the motivation they received by seeing the American Flag on that truck and in and around the site. And after leaving New York, reflecting on his own experiences, Allvord developed his own meaning behind the efforts of those at Ground Zero: "So Others May Live."
His inspiration formed the basis of a non-profit organization he set up to support search and rescue professionals (www.soothersmaylive.com). He has also designed a set of commemorative pins for sale to honor these Americans to support the program, and honor the very same stars and stripes bannered to the side of the damaged fire truck.
"Extraordinary sacrifices are quietly being made by ordinary Americans in communities all around this great country. The ‘So Others May Live’ patriotic symbol can serve as a profound reminder of the men and women both overseas and on our own soil protecting our freedom," Allvord said.
"Together, we can work to spread this spirit throughout our communities so that in our everyday lives, we take a moment to recognize the tremendous sacrifice and determination that makes our country great and all Americans proud," he added.
Lapel pins and stickers are available for less than $3.50 each with a portion of the proceeds going to a host of popular charities, and also helping those around the nation in need. Some of the charities include The American Red Cross; The New York Police and Firefighters Widows and Children’s Benefit Fund, Inc.; and Operation Home Front.
Specifically, the pins have been designed to honor 11 different military and law enforcement organizations, as well as the events surrounding 9-11-01. They include U.S. Air Force, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, Firefighters, POW/MIA, U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security and Police Officers.
Allvord’s dedication to supporting the spirit of search and rescue dates back at least ten years, and has been notably linked with his passion for sports. In 1993, he founded the "National Search and Rescue Competition." The Competition features the top military and civilian Combat, Inland, Maritime and Urban search and rescue professionals from around the world, including teams from Turkey, Japan and the United States. They compete in the areas of physical fitness, professional knowledge, SAR procedures and equipment.
And most notably on the baseball diamond, he founded the U.S. Navy Baseball Club in 1990, the first organized military baseball program since the Vietnam War. His most recent "tour of duty" in the sport was as the Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach at the U. S. Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, Rhode Island. He's also been credited with coaching more than 13,000 Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as college and professional players.
These days, especially, the importance of "So Others May Live" is not underestimated. Allvord, who has served several tours of the Persian Gulf region, hopes that his efforts help spread goodwill and support for our troops performing in Operation Iraqi Freedom. "In the end, I'm hopeful that all Americans will support the country and those in harm’s way."
Image Credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Allvord