Notre Dame, IN (UHND.com) – Charlie Weis will be leaving the country on Tuesday as part of a group of college football coaches headed over to the Middle East to visit the troops stationed in various locations.
Weis and his fellow head coaches will be embarking on a first of a kind tour based off of the successful Operation Hardwood – a similar tour of military bases by head coaches from college basketball programs around the country. Operation Hardwood was started five years ago, but this will be the first time college football head coaches will visit the troops in a similar manner.
Weis will be joined by Mark Richt (Georgia), Randy Shannon (Miami), Jack Siedlecki (Yale) and Tommy Tuberville (Auburn).
“I am honored to be selected to a group of collegiate football coaches to visit our troops in the Middle East the week leading up to Memorial Day,” Weis said back in March when he announced he would be making the trip this May.
“My family and I believe this to be a small way to thank and support our troops for defending our country. As a proud Notre Dame alumnus, I consider this trip to be a privilege and I’m looking forward to this with great anticipation,” he would add.
The point of the trip will be for the coaches to participate in different meet and greets at different military bases throughout the Middle East, coach a flag football game amongst the military personnel, and take part in question and answer sessions.
“I thought that was a small token of appreciation representing Notre Dame, just a small token of appreciation for me to be one of a group of college football coaches to go over there and try to mix and mingle with a whole bunch of our troops that have a lot more important job than any of us have,” Weis said of the trip in March. “ I feel both honored and privileged to have been asked, and I’m looking forward to going, and I think this will be an enlightening experience.”
His trip mates have expressed similar sentiments on making the voyage overseas. “We love the Soldiers and their willingness to sacrifice for our country,” said Mark Richt. “We want to support them not only in prayer but also in person. I look forward to meeting as many of our men and women in the armed forces as possible during the visit,”
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to spend time with the troops in the Middle East. They have made so many sacrifices to help protect our country and this is a small way that I, along with the other coaches on the tour, can say ‘thank you.’ I know we’ll get to visit with a lot of college football fans and hope to see several Auburn Tigers along the way,” said Tommy Tuberville.
Yae head coach Jack Siedlecki added, “I expect that this will be a once in a lifetime experience. I am really looking forward to meeting the men and women of our armed forces and am truly thrilled to have this opportunity,” said Siedlecki.
Armed Forces Entertainment is responsible for putting this tour together and in their press release announcing this first time endeavor , Air Force Colonel Edward Shock, Chief of Armed Forces Entertainment, said of it, “College football is an All-American sport—it truly showcases the drive, determination and teamwork that is similar to the U.S. Armed Force. We are proud to bring this tour to our military men and women, and my hat goes off to these coaches for spending their downtime with our troops.”
Weis Appointed to Presidential Committee
Charlie Weis has also been busy this off-season with being appointed to the Presidential Committee for people with intellectual disabilities. He will be a member of the 13 member committee for a term of two years.
The committee will advise the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues relating to individuals with intellectual disabilities as well as their families.
“I’m honored to have been appointed a member of the President’s Committee. On behalf of my wife Maura, our son Charlie and daughter Hannah, who is globally developmentally delayed, I look forward to using my voice to help raise awareness and doing some good for individuals with special needs that may not have that ability to do so on their own. I’m very appreciative to President Bush for this appointment and am excited about the opportunity,” Weis said of being appointed.