Shaquem Griffin, in partnership with USAA, recently shared an afternoon with two injured military veterans at the Space Needle. The Seahawks second-year linebacker was joined by Israel "DT" Del Toro and Jeremy Daniels.
The three bonded over a shared love of video games and each exchanged their personal stories.
Griffin has family ties to the military, which made the meetup even more impactful for him.
"Just to watch them sacrifice everything – I mean everything – about themselves just for the greater good of me," Griffin said, "you've always got to give back; you've always got to give appreciation; you've always got to be thankful for those who fight for you."
USAA produced a heartwarming video recap of the afternoon that you can watch here. It was part of USAA's "Salute to Service" initiative, with the goal of fostering a greater understanding between NFL players and our military.
Here's more info about Del Toro and Daniels.
Israel "DT" Del Toro
Israel Del Toro is a US. Air Force Master Sgt. In 2005, Del Toro was severely injured when his Humvee hit an IED in Afghanistan. He lost most of his fingers and suffered third degree burns on more than 80% of his body. He spent nearly three months in a coma. Doctors told Del Toro that he had a 15 percent chance of survival and that he'd likely never walk or breathe on his own again. Del Toro used sports as part of his rehabilitation and overcame those odds, becoming the first 100 percent combat disabled Air Force technician to re-enlist in the military. In 2017, Del Toro received the Pat Tillman Award for Courage during the 25th annual ESPY awards. He is currently an Air Force training instructor.
Jeremy Daniels is a Wounded Warrior Project alum who served in the US Army as a helicopter mechanic and crew member. He served in Kuwait/Mosel from 2003-2004 and in Kuwait/Balad, Iraq from 2005-2006. In 2007 he was diagnosed with MS. Daniels has been a die-hard Seahawks fan since birth. He is also a huge gamer, but has not been able to play video games for two years now due to lack of fine motor control of his hands – his favorite game is Madden.