Domenik Hixon understands firsthand the sacrifice that comes with being in a military family.
Born and raised on a base in Germany, Hixon lived it as a son of a 21-year Army veteran. So it was only fitting that the Giants wide receiver was recently on hand in Lyons, N.J., to announce MetLife’s commitment of $40 million in capital to further develop housing for veterans in need.
“I don’t think people understand enough how much sacrifice goes into military families for our freedom,” Hixon said. “For us to live free, there’s a price to pay…That’s why we can go out on Sunday and play football.”
Hixon, who moved to Columbus, Ohio, after his formative years, also understands the hardships of transitioning to civilian life. His father did just that when he retired as a master sergeant toward the end of Domenik’s high school career.
To assist with that transition is the purpose of the Lyons Campus and other veterans programs across the country.
During his visit, Hixon met with veterans and heard their stories, including a Purple Heart and Medal of Valor recipient.
“You want to talk military, and they want to talk football,” Hixon said. “We exchanged bracelets. I have ‘What would Jesus Do?’ bracelets with my number and the Giants on them. They gave me a ‘Support Our Troops’ bracelet and a veteran’s crisis line bracelet.
“It was great to hang out here with the vets. It’s always cool to come back, hang out, talk a little military, talk a little football, and just kind of reminisce.”
Hixon then turned his football helmet in for a hard hat.
Led by Superintendent Al Poole, Hixon toured the construction site of the future Valley Brook Village, where the veterans will one day live.
“We’re going to have a total of 64 units on the project for all the veterans,” Poole said.
“It’s probably one of the greatest things that’s happening right now – this project. I can tell you that from my heart because I’m a veteran myself.”
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