Colts players, h.h. gregg surprise vet with home makeover
Colts punter Pat McAfee got a lot of help in his latest gesture toward American military veterans.
McAfee, who recently gave children of military families $35,000 in college scholarships, teamed up with Colts tight end Coby Fleener and h.h. gregg to surprise an Army veteran.
The pair met up with veteran Erich Orrick, a single father of two daughters, under the guise of a TV show to pay back the country's military men and women. Fleener said he was trying to pick a foundation to support and interviewed Orrick, who serves as president of "Wish For Our Heroes," a national charity for veterans facing hardships.
"These guys in uniform are more than just Americans to me. They're my brothers and sisters," Orrick said.
"Every single spare moment that he has, he dedicates to Wish For Our Heroes, dedicates to finding new ways to help our troops and never asks for anything. Ever," said Jeff Wells, founder of Wish For Our Heroes.
Orrick told the Colts players he was involved in 13 bombing while serving in the Army, leaving him with a broken neck, broken leg, broken rib and two dislocated shoulders.
During the interview for the fictional show, Fleener asked about the charity, then asked Orrick what he would want for himself.
"I wish I had more volunteers and more cash. I'm good," he said.
The players sent Orrick to Chicago for three days, so workers from h.h. gregg could redesign his home with new furniture and appliances donated by manufacturers. His home was made over with new TVs, laptops and kitchen appliances, as well as couches, chairs and decorative items.
In the new "man cave," the group framed one of Orrick's Army uniforms, as well as signed jerseys from McAfee and Fleener, and built a display case for the numerous medals Orrick earned during his military service.
When he returned home, McAfee and Fleener were there to greet him and show him his "new" home.
"This rocks, man," Orrick said once inside.
The crew also presented a check for $5,000 to help Wish For Our Heroes.
"It's because of the people like Errick serving our country that we're allowed to be free," Fleener said.
"He never really gets a chance to get any love in return. He's always helping other people," McAfee said.
The makeover was documented in a YouTube video as part of the "#ThankAHero campaign. At the end of the video, it is noted that Orrick donated the furniture that was removed from his home to his charity.
Find out more about Wish For Our Heroes at http://www.wishforourheroes.org.