Mike Pereira’s foundation produces its first football official

Mike Pereira’s foundation produces its first football official


How’d you do in
your first game? I almost puked. That is Thomas Harris. Thomas spent four years
as a sonar technician in the United States Navy. And now, he is one of the first
recipients of the Battlefields to Ballfields scholarship,
and the first to officiate a football game. I’ve watched games, many,
many games, as an official, through an official’s
eyes, and I feel like I’m making all these calls. But to be on this
side of it, I have a greater deal of
respect for officials and what they have to deal with. The foundation is designed to
take veterans, men and women accustomed to being on a
mission-focused team, who may be facing a difficult time
re-acclimating themselves to civilian life, and
giving them a new team to be a part of on the field. You have vets who are used
to stressful situations, who are disciplined, who
look good physically. It’s a slam dunk. It’s a feeder program right
into the officiating ranks. There’s a brotherhood
that’s there. And when you’re separated
from that, you miss that. This is an unreal
situation for me to be in. I would have never imagined that
I would get into officiating. We hope that Thomas is
the first of hundreds more, some of our nation’s
finest men and women, making them part of a
new team with a new focus and a new goal. Someday, I hope I
have to buy a ticket to see you work a
game at a college level, or maybe even beyond. If you think that you
might want to get involved with this organization as a
veteran, and you love sports, it’s something you’re
passionate about, you need to kind of get
out of your comfort zone and just take a risk. Without risk, there’s no reward. And we need to just put
ourselves out there. Just take a leap of faith
and then see what happens. And that’s exactly what I did. I made that leap of faith,
and it’s paying off.

About the Author: Garret Beatty

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