For many, Veterans Day serves as a great reminder of the brave men and women who have served in our armed forces, something that we are eternally grateful for.
For Indiana Fever forward Candice Dupree, every day is a chance to reflect and honor our veterans, in particular her mother, who served in the Air Force for more than 20 years.
“[Veterans Day] brings awareness to the sacrifices that our former servicemen and women have made on behalf of our country,” Dupree said. “My mom is motivation for me because she was strong-willed and determined as a single parent and as a person in the military. It wasn’t always easy trying to juggle both, but she always found a way to make it happen!
“Seeing how hard my mom worked for her kids has made me want to do and provide the same for my girls. I was forced to be independent at a relatively young age. I want to make sure my girls grow up having the opportunity to experience different cultures and knowing that they are and will continue to be independent strong-willed young ladies.”
The impact of her mother’s service to our country didn’t stop there for Dupree. It also made her want to find ways to give back and support military families in her own way.
“I think it’s important that our society acknowledges the experiences that our veterans have been exposed to,” Dupree stated. “Upon serving, some veterans experience PTSD, mental health issues, and homelessness. Support from society and communities is needed to help combat and assist veterans and their families with these challenges.”
In August of 2018, Dupree received the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award presented by State Farm for her efforts in giving back to military service members. Those efforts included Dupree creating the Sideline Service Members program, which partners with USO of Indiana to provide 20 tickets to military personnel and their families for one game each month throughout the season.
“My goal for Sideline Service Members is to give active duty, veterans and their families an opportunity to escape everyday life and enjoy a professional sports experience as a family,” Dupree said. “It is also my way of honoring those who have and are currently serving.”