While serving overseas with the U.S. Army, PFC Mardaras recognized the Iraqi children’s love of soccer, even though they were playing with tin cans and rocks. Madaras asked his family to send him a few balls so he could distribute them to the children in Baqubah; however, he never got the chance to do this.He was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on Sept. 3, 2006.He was only nineteen years old.
Kick for Nick is a 501 (c) 3 organization developed to keep Nick Madaras’ dream alive by allowing people to donate soccer balls to the children of Iraq. From his website…
“Nick was killed in action by an IED on September 3rd of 2006 at the age of 19. The men in his unit and all of us back home were completely devastated and continue to mourn to this day. Our way to get back at the men who did this, however, won’t be a course of hatred and rage. Instead we are spreading Nick’s love of soccer and his dedication to the children of Iraq by sending to Iraq soccer balls to be distributed to the children of Iraq directly by our soldiers in the field. We are all fulfilling Nick’s dream by collecting and distributing these balls. Nick’s Comrades in Arms have told us that when the times get really rough over there and they’re searching for a reason for all of the madness, they can hand a ball to one of the children and look at their eyes glow with happiness, remember Nick, and realize that yes, it is worth it”
Truly a message for our times…..