Help a Wounded Vet's Dream Become Reality

By DJ Byrnes on October 2, 2013 at 10:23a
Navy Lieutenant Steve Simmons

"You can never pay back; but you can always pay forward" - Woody Hayes, former Ohio State Buckeye Coach and Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy?? Today, we begin the journey to make a hero's dream come true. Steve Simmons is a 37-year-old male, who is married with three children. To date, Steve has served 16 years in the United States Navy in various arenas such as Operation Desert Fox, Southern Watch, Tomodachi, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. Most recently he was stationed on the USS Ronald Reagan as part of the Carrier Air Wing 14, with mission to provide support for operations off the coast of Japan. During the deployment, a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan; A disaster seen worldwide. Following the disaster, servicemen and women of the UUS Reagan provided humanitarian support to the citizens of Japan.

While stationed off-coast, nuclear reactor Fukushima began melting down only a few thousand yards from USS Reagan. During this time, Steve was exposed to high amounts of continued radiation and contaminated water system while living on the USS Reagan. Upon returning from deployment Steve's health has taken a turn for the worst. Once an active sports buff, Steve's health has deteriorated significantly resulting in dependence on a wheelchair to complete all daily activities. He required significant assistance from his wife to complete dressing, bathing, eating and much more.

With his health declining, Steve decided to make a bucket list. Near the top, you will find a dream, "To meet the Ohio State Football Team and Coach Meyer while sitting on the sidelines of Ohio Stadium."

You can read more about the background of Steve Simmons' illness here.

Folks, this is all very straight forward. The US military isn't lacking for respect in these parts, and a hero like Steve Simmons only needs a mere $1,000 to finance his dream. (Of which $280 has already been raised.) Seeing as Eleven Warriors has the best Buckeye community on the internet, it's obvious what must be done here. Lieutenant Simmons deserves to have his dreams come true.

The first step is to head to this page. The second is to donate. The third is to feel better about yourself, and Buckeye fans as a whole, when this goal is reached later today.

UPDATE: Y'all helped us crush Lt. Simmons' goal and Ohio State has reached out to him. He will be attending a game, and has plans to meet Urban Meyer. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

UPDATE, the SEQUEL: We just got word that Lt. Simmons will be attending the Penn State game on 10/26. Huge.

UPDATE, the 3rd: Here's Lt. Simmons with former Buckeye Kirk Barton on the sideline before the Penn State game.

Lt. Simmons at Ohio Stadium (Kirk Barton photo)


Comments Show All Comments

oregonianbuckeye's picture

Thanks to 11W staff for working to make this happen and letting Buckeye Nation know how we can help out. 

Grayskullsession's picture

Definitely a worthy cause to donate to.

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

cdubs's picture

This should be fully funded by lunch.

EDIT: Annnnd it's funded. What'd that take, 15 minutes?

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Well this is a no brainer.
*update   10:48 am and he's at $535.00

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

DJ Byrnes's picture

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. 

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

Doc's picture

$650.00 as of 10:59 a.m.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Jugdish's picture

Happy to help. I look forward to helping his dream come true. And thank you Steve for making us all better Americans.

Remember to get your wolverine spayed or neutered. TBDBITL

Jdadams01's picture

Good job reaching the goal, Buckeye Nation, but let's give as much extra as we can. He's earned a first class trip. 

KBonay's picture

That should buy him a steak......cheers brother!
 ↑'s for everyone!

O-H-I-Owe-U's picture

Over $700 at 11:38. 

BuckeyeVet's picture

Officially over the top now, as of 11:42 am.  Glad I could help, as I have been blessed in this life.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

DJ Byrnes's picture

Well played, Buckeyevet. *tip of the tophat*

Californian by birth, Marionaire by the Grace of President Warren G. Harding.

brandonbauer87's picture

Very happy to donate. Causes don't get much better than this one. 

buckeyedude's picture

We have to make this happen.



spqr2008's picture

I hope he can be there for the Penn State game, because it's the one game I could get tickets for this year, and would love to cheer for him when he's introduced.

JLBNYC's picture

Just donated. Happy to help; Great cause!
I admire and am grateful for anyone who has served our country.

BuddhaBuck's picture

I hope he gets to give a pre-game speech as well. 

Don't text while driving.

geoffrsc's picture

Happy to help.

Sgt. Elias's picture

When the call to action rings out, this is what 11Dubbers do:

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

Hovenaut's picture

I first came to 11W for Ohio State athletics.

I've since stayed for the people.

Well done folks, God bless Steve Simmons.

addman1405's picture

$1530 dollars as of 11:24 AM PST 
This is awesome. Glad to be a contributor. Go Bucks!
God Bless Steve!

Sgt. Elias's picture

$1550 now. We done good. Makes me wonder how many other people aboard the USS Reagan were affected, she has a company of almost 6,000 sailors and airmen at any given time. Sheesh :c

"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

brandonbauer87's picture

I wondered the same thing myself. 
Edit: I just looked it up and it seems like quite a few. It seems like its a real mess. I think that's the best way to say it.  You should check it out yourself. 

HighBallAce's picture

One thing that could also help this gentleman is to post a link to this on your Facebook accounts if you have one. It would help it spread the word and who know's, maybe we can all help him earn a little something more for his service..

gbdawg's picture

Glad to help a vet .

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Just donated.  Thanks for giving us the opportunity to help make this guy's dream come true.  Please follow up and let us know how his day goes!

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

KBonay's picture

Great work folks...

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

Just curious, what will the rest of the funds go towards (beyond the $1000)?  help with his medical bills (which I'm totally ok with)?

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

unholy bucknut's picture

Does it matter who cares if he spends it on booze and candy. He deserves every cent.

JLBNYC's picture

Agreed 100%. By the time i donated, he was just over $1000, but i happily gave anyway.  Whatever he wants to do is alright by me; go have a nice meal. 

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I understand your point, but to me it does matter.  And it was never stated (unless I missed it) that the money is going directly to him.  Basically why I donate to charities like USO or WWP that actually do something for vets, and not to charities where all they do is "raise awareness." 

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

hit_the_couch's picture

I don't donate because much of the time, it's unclear where the money is going; i've heard/ seen many a story about charities using funds for everything but what they're allotted for.
Right now this guy is self diagnosed and it's unclear what actually caused his illness. I feel for the guy and hope he gets better. I hope if it is caused by the meltdown the gov't takes responsibility and mans up on the situation.
There is also lawsuit against the plant but some some reason he wasn't named a part of it.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

unholy bucknut's picture

Wow this is the coolest thing i've read in a good long time. I hope he has the best time anyone could ever have. Anyone know what game he is going to hopefully a big game where the shoe is going to be electric and he can get the real feel for what the shoe can do. Good things happening to good people always a pleasure to see that. Thanks to all the men and women who put their lives on the line so we can enjoy the freedoms we enjoy every day.

Jason Priestas's picture

Not sure what game he'll be attending, but as soon as we find out, we'll let everyone know.

Thanks again, everyone. You guys are rock stars.

HighBallAce's picture

Jason, question, will this give him enough for his wife and kids to be able to attend the game with him? I know that would make it REALLY special for him!

brandonbauer87's picture

Agreed. Name the price and I'll toss in more. 

BuckeyeVet's picture

Great question & great idea!

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

MN Buckeye's picture

Just saw this for the first time today. What is the status? Do they still need support? Has the target changed for supporting his dream? I would be happy to contribute but would like to know if there are continuing needs here.

brandonbauer87's picture

If nothing else, the man needs a juicy steak and a cold beer. 

741's picture

Well done 11W!

burkmon's picture

$1,690 at 10:09am.
Way to go fellow 11 Warriors!


cjmgobucks's picture

This was a great way to start my day.  Happy to help.  11W strikes again!!

"When I look in the mirror, I want to take a swing at me."

Wayne Woodrow Hayes