PHOENIX, Aug. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The late NBA star Mark Eaton was honored posthumously today by top leaders of the nation’s largest veterans association.
«Not everyone who is nominated for this award receives it,» Past National Commander of The American Legion John P. «Jake» Comer said during the presentation of the 2021 James V. Day «Good Guy» Award. «Many celebrities are accustomed to receiving lucrative appearance or speaking fees. We don’t offer that. I say this because those who accept this prestigious award truly have proven to be good people simply by putting veterans above financial gain.»
Comer noted that Eaton had agreed several months ago to appear at The American Legion 102nd National Convention in Phoenix but tragically died in an accident a few weeks later. The award was presented by the Past Department Commanders Club, a group of current and past national, state and territorial leaders of The American Legion.
«I am so honored to celebrate this award on behalf of Mark, not just as a Good Guy but as one of the greatest men I have ever known,» Eaton’s nephew, Timothy Riser said while accepting for the Eaton family.
Eaton, who holds many NBA records for his defensive play, was the founder and chairman of the Mark Eaton Standing Tall Foundation, which sponsored sports and outdoor activity opportunities for more than 3,000 at risk youth.
«Mark Eaton was a spectacular NBA all-star for the Utah Jazz and played for 12 seasons,» National Commander James W. «Bill» Oxford said. «More importantly, the 7’4″ defensive player was a big man with an even bigger heart.»
Previous recipients of the James V. «Day» Good Guy award include Lou Holtz, Johnny Bench, George Foreman, Richard Petty and Dolly Parton.
With a current membership of nearly two million U.S. military veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, patriotic youth programs and Americanism. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through nearly 13,000 posts worldwide. From the drafting of the original GI Bill to the creation of the Department of Veterans Affairs, The American Legion is the most influential voice for America’s veterans. Members of The American Legion live by the organization’s motto, «Veterans Strengthening America.»
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SOURCE The American Legion