Rams, SoCal Honda Dealers Recognize Kevin Hooker as Community Quarterback

(77) Andrew Whitworth of the Los Angeles Rams poses with a check to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors families with Honda after a walk through , Saturday, November 10, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)
(77) Andrew Whitworth of the Los Angeles Rams poses with a check to the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors families with Honda after a walk through , Saturday, November 10, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)

As a former combat veteran, Major KEVIN HOOKER is aware of the cost of war and the risks that all service members assume in the defense of our country. While he was deployed in Afghanistan in 2011, Hooker made a vow to never let fallen service heroes and their families be forgotten. This pledge led him to begin volunteering with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (T.A.P.S.), which offers compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in our Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service.

“This program is here for our hero’s surviving family members,” said Hooker. “We have multiple events throughout the year for surviving family members to talk about the grief and to give them a safe space where they can honor and talk about their loved ones and peers because many of them live in communities where they may be the only one. This gives them an opportunity to get together and honor those loved ones.”

Shortly following his return home from deployment in 2011, Hooker began to volunteer as a way to provide companionship and to assist children who have lost a military family member. Since his initial volunteer appearance, he’s served in multiple leadership roles within the TAPS organization and has planned and facilitated numerous events, programming, and peer mentor groups for more than 500 surviving children and military mentors.

Hooker’s innovative approach to helping Gold Star families is what distinguishes him from his peers as he’s routinely selected to train future T.A.P.S. group leaders. Recently during the 2018 National T.A.P.S. Good Grief Camp in Arlington, Virginia, Hooker met and discussed programming with an international delegation that included representation from Great Britain and the Ukraine. He’s also developed the program’s first mental health support system which provides clinical consultation for approximately 1,000 children, volunteers, and staff members.

On Saturday, November 10, the Rams hosted the families of 22 fallen heroes at a private practice where they had the chance to meet the players who would eventually wear their family member’s initials on their helmet during the Salute to Service game against the Seattle Seahawks. Rams Pro Bowl Tackle ANDREW WHITWORTH also presented Hooker with the Rams Community Quarterback Award presented by SoCal Honda Dealers as well as a check-donation to further the mission of T.A.P.S.

“It’s hard to express to people what it means to have the opportunity to say thank you to these families and also just to love on them and tell them that we understand,” said Rams Pro Bowl Offensive Tackle Andrew Whitworth. “For myself, having gone through it and lost a brother to this, I know it’s tough and I know it’s not easy. All you can really do is put your arm around them and tell them you’re thankful.”

Since joining T.A.P.S., Hooker has dedicated more than 600 hours of service to approximately 2,000 children of our nation’s fallen heroes. He believes that volunteering hours of service is a small price to pay for the tremendous freedoms and liberties that have been bestowed to us as a result of their sacrifices.

The Rams Foundation and SoCal Honda Dealers provide all Community QB winners with a $10,000 grant to further the mission of the nonprofit organization he or she serves and the opportunity to be recognized on-field at a Rams home game. Since the program’s inception, the Rams have donated more than $410,000 to community organizations through the Community Quarterback initiative.

For more information about the Rams Community Quarterback Award presented by SoCal Honda Dealers, please visit www.therams.com/community/communityquarterback.

If you’d like to learn more about the Rams’ community outreach efforts, please visit www.therams.com/community

The Rams hosted the families of 22 fallen heroes at a private practice where they had the chance to meet the players who would wear their family member’s initials on their helmet during the Salute to Service game.

Salute to Service Week Presented by California Resources Corporation

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