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    Evander Holyfield visits Marne Soldiers

    Evander Holyfield visit Soldiers at Fort Stewart

    Photo By Sgt. Ryan Tatum | Devin Bradley, a coordinator for Newman Gym, poses with former professional boxer,...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Ryan Tatum 

    50th Public Affairs Detachment

    As 3rd Infantry Division Soldiers trained at Newman Gym, former professional boxer Evander Holyfield made a surprise visit, Aug 18, at Fort Stewart, Georgia, to show his thanks to the Marne Division for their relentless hard work and sacrifice.

    Eyes bulged and mouths dropped as ‘The Real Deal Holyfield’ walked through the workout areas. Soldiers, young and old, all briefly paused their workout to greet Holyfield and to snap a selfie with a legend in the ring.

    Holyfield lit up the room with his presence and expressed his thanks to all the Soldiers there in the gym.

    “It’s because of you, we have our freedom and that is a big deal,” Holyfield said. “What would our country be if we didn’t have you all fighting on our behalf. So, I’m honored to even have the opportunity to be here.”

    Holyfield, a Georgia native, decided to give back to his community by starting up a project in the local area.

    “We are working on a project in Savannah called Weapons Down and Knuckles Up,” said Holyfield. “It’s to deter young people from shooting one another and to provide them a positive outlet to settle their aggressive behavior.”

    As the star-struck Soldiers continued their workout, Holyfield reached out to the Georgia Youth Challenge teens to mentor and give them an encouraging word.

    “I was like you, growing up in the ghetto and other people would say that you would never become anything,” Holyfield said. “There were three things my mother taught me and that was to listen, follow direction and don’t quit.”

    The words of Holyfield resonated with the Soldiers and the Georgia Youth Challenge teens and in that moment, their expressions seemed brighter.

    Molly Cooke, a marketing assistant for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation at Fort Stewart, helped make the visit possible.

    “One of our sponsors that was working with Holyfield reached out to us to let us know that he would be in the area and expressed his interest to see the Soldiers,” Cooke said. “Within hours we received the approval to make it happen. It made my day, maybe even my month, to bring such a treat to the Soldiers.”

    As the meet and greet came to a close, Holyfield gave one more heart-felt and sincere thank you before leaving Newman Gym.

    “I may have been a champion but the true champions are the Soldiers,” Holyfield said. “The Soldiers are the winners because they are the support that keeps the American family together.”



    Date Taken: 08.22.2017
    Date Posted: 08.22.2017 11:00
    Story ID: 245564
    Location: FORT STEWART, GA, US 
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