When soldiers overseas get a care package, it’s like getting a little piece of home. If its sent with the help of someone’s heart and soul– it means that much more.
Some big guys with some big hearts are working to do just that.
Rugby teams from all over the Siouxland area stopped in Sioux City today for some friendly matches and to raise money for Siouxland soldiers.
A cause near and dear to the Siouxland Swine as one of their own was recently deployed to Afghanistan.
The players of the Siouxland Swine rugby team can definitely stand the intensity of a match, but what about the pain?
“It wears off after a couple of days.”
Pain aside, there’s a reason these guys are pouring their heart and soul into every play.
“This is kind of a, more than special occasion for us this year because one of our players just got sent over to Afghanistan– just in the last month.” Says John Singer, VP of the Siouxland Swine.
The siouxland swine rugby team has held fundraising tournaments to benefit “support siouxland soldiers” in the past.
They never thought their efforts would benefit one of their own.
“It’s kind of one of those things, you never think it will happen to you.” Says Singer.
“Kevin Heineman, he’s a sergeant with the police department I believe and he got shipped off just a couple weeks ago, so we wanted to make it even more of a big event because it hit home a little bit.” Says Vern Helt with the Siouxland Swine.
Rugby isn’t a hugely popular sport in the area, but when a fellow rugger is going through a hard time, the comradery is there.
“They’re all supporting our country and they’re over there and everybody’s families are stuck here so I mean anything we can do and all pitch in to help out I definitely think we should do it. Sioux City has a rugger right now over in Afghanistan so I definitely feel that everybody came together in a group effort.” Says Rocky Welker, a former player for the Swine and current member of the University of South Dakota Rugby team.
Keeping their fellow rugger in mind, the Swine made it into the championship game. It’s a feet anyone can be proud of– but especially their teammate.
“He’s just proud of us and we gave him one of our jersey’s before he left and he said he’d wear it proud over there so now we’ve got a jersey overseas.” Says Helt.
the Siouxland Swine Rugby Tournament raised double what it made last year– they’re expecting to donate upwards of $3,000 to support Siouxland Soldiers.