"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.