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NBA Honors Troops During All-Star Weekend

By Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 15, 2014 – Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Lisa, joined about 2,500 service members, veterans and their families at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center yesterday where the troops were honored guests at the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Practice.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with a volunteer from Rebuilding Together before starting work on the home of Vietnam veteran Louis Banks in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, as part of the seventh-annual NBA All-Star Day of Service. About 250 active-duty service members and veterans volunteered to work alongside past and present NBA players on six homes, including the homes of four veterans. DOD photo by Claudette Roulo
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The NBA Cares Hoops for Troops program hosted the veterans and service members, who were invited to take part in on-court activities with NBA rookies and second-year players during breaks in the practice.

Hoops for Troops is a year-round initiative, in partnership with the Defense Department and the USO, to honor active-duty and veteran service members.

Following the practice, the Battaglias traveled to the New Orleans community of Algiers to spend several hours working alongside about 250 service members and veterans as well as current and former NBA players as they rehabbed six homes, including the homes of four veterans, as part of the NBA Cares Day of Service.

“It's great working together with NBA All-Stars and vets to rebuild a Vietnam vet's home,” the sergeant major said. “These are awards you wear in your chest, not on them.”

Rebuilding Together organized the volunteer work and selected the homes that would receive work, said Tim Parsons, director of marketing and communications for Rebuilding Together. Included in the thousands of homes the group has rehabbed for low-income homeowners are about 1,500 homes for veterans, he noted.

“We do about 10,000 projects a year rebuilding homes for low-income homeowners who have to make tough choices every day between things like food and medicine or fixing their homes,” Parsons said.

Battaglia also met with a number of NBA officials yesterday and today, including Commissioner Adam Silver and Jerry Colangelo, the president of Team USA, as part of a Defense Department initiative to increase hiring of veterans by Fortune 500 companies.Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife Lisa joined about 2,500 service members, veterans and their families at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center yesterday where the troops were honored guests at the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Practice.

The NBA Cares Hoops for Troops program hosted the veterans and service members, who were invited to take part in on-court activities with NBA rookies and second-year players during breaks in the practice.

Hoops for Troops is a year-round initiative, in partnership with the Defense Department and the USO, to honor active-duty and veteran service members.

Following the practice, the Battaglias traveled to the New Orleans community of Algiers to spend several hours working alongside about 250 service members and veterans as well as current and former NBA players as they rehabbed six homes, including the homes of four veterans, as part of the NBA Cares Day of Service.

“It's great working together with NBA All-Stars and vets to rebuild a Vietnam vet's home,” the sergeant major said. “These are awards you wear in your chest, not on them.”

Rebuilding Together organized the volunteer work and selected the homes that would receive work, said Tim Parsons, director of marketing and communications for Rebuilding Together. Included in the thousands of homes the group has rehabbed for low-income homeowners are about 1,500 homes for veterans, he noted.

“We do about 10,000 projects a year rebuilding homes for low-income homeowners who have to make tough choices every day between things like food and medicine or fixing their homes,” Parsons said.

Battaglia also met with a number of NBA officials yesterday and today, including Commissioner Adam Silver and Jerry Colangelo, the president of Team USA, as part of a Defense Department initiative to increase hiring of veterans by Fortune 500 companies.

Contact Author

Biographies:
Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia

Related Sites:
Special Report: Travels With Battaglia
Battaglia Participates in NBA All-Star Game Activities for Military Families, Veterans


Click photo for screen-resolution imageMarine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with a volunteer from Rebuilding Together before starting work on the home of Vietnam veteran Louis Banks in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, as part of the seventh-annual NBA All-Star Day of Service. About 250 active-duty service members and veterans volunteered to work alongside past and present NBA players on six homes, including the homes of four veterans. DOD photo by Claudette Roulo  
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