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Donations show team pride, help veterans

Jennifer Nelson
February 4, 2010
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An Indianapolis attorney and Army reserve major wants Colts fans to put their money where their mouths are to show support for the team and raise money for wounded soldiers.

Attorney and Army Reserve Major David Seiter wants to spread the word about the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps injured soldiers and their families and caregivers cope with the dramatic changes injuries can bring. He contacted the National Football League about his idea and got all the legal licenses in place. Now, the NFL, Wounded Warrior Project, and Operation Touchdown 2010 have partnered to encourage Colts and New Orleans Saints fans to see who can donate the most money to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Seiter and Saints fan Army Col. Ted Cox, now retired, started Operation Touchdown while serving in Iraq in 2003. They realized their favorite NFL teams would be playing each other that year and organized a daylong clinic for Iraqi children to teach them about American football. Fans from Indianapolis and New Orleans donated child-size Colts and Saints apparel and the two realized they now had a platform where they could bring attention to different charities, Seiter said.

Operation Touchdown has organized other events that coincide with the Colts and Saints facing each other. When it looked like the two teams would play in the Super Bowl in 2007, Seiter and Cox organized a benefit for the USO. Unfortunately for Cox, the Chicago Bears beat the Saints and went to the Super Bowl.

Seiter said he's always been impressed with Colts fans' support of their team and the military. People can make donations on the Wounded Warrior Project's Web site for up to a week after the Super Bowl. He said the Web site will begin showing the results soon. They hope to raise thousands of dollars for Wounded Warrior Project.

"I certainly don't want to get beat by a bunch of Saints fans," he said. "This is a competition. I want to see our fans support this program."

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