American Airlines, the Dallas Mavericks, and Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse joined forces once again for the 17th annual Seats for Soldiers, a day dedicated to honoring the nation’s heroes. More than 100 service members, including wounded, ill, and injured individuals from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and soldiers from the Texas Army National Guard, were treated to an unforgettable experience.
The day commenced with American Airlines providing charter transportation between San Antonio and Dallas Fort Worth for Brooke Army Medical Center service members. American's pilots and flight attendants volunteered their time for the special flight, ensuring a smooth and comfortable journey for the honored guests.
David Seymour, American’s Chief Operating Officer and an Army veteran, expressed pride in the event's 17-year legacy. "Seats for Soldiers has been a special event for the American Airlines team, and we are grateful for our volunteers and partners at Nick & Sam’s and the Dallas Mavericks for coming together to honor our nation’s heroes in such a meaningful way each year," Seymour remarked.
Upon arrival at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the service members were treated to a three-course dinner at Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse before attending the Dallas Mavericks versus Orlando Magic game at the American Airlines Center. The dinner menu, curated by Nick & Sam’s Corporate Chef and Partner Samir Dhurandhar, featured an Allen Brother filet mignon and "Salt n Pepper" Scottish Salmon, concluding with a Dallas Mavericks seven-layer cake and Sweet House vanilla ice cream. The Nick & Sam’s staff volunteered their time, offering the service free of charge to the honored guests.
Nick & Sam's Majority Owner and Partner Sam Romano, and Corporate Chef and Partner Samir Dhurandhar, highlighted the significance of the gesture, stating, "Food feeds the soul. Although we owe them much more than a meal, we are honored to be able to treat the people who protect us."
The idea for Seats for Soldiers originated with Dallas Mavericks season ticket holders Neal and Jamie Hawks. These front-row season ticket holders, along with others, have consistently donated their seats to host wounded service members. This year, the Mavericks expanded their support by allowing all Club Maverick Members with tickets to the Jan. 29 game to donate their seats to U.S. service members. In collaboration with Vet Tix, the Mavericks provided over 400 additional seats to active duty, veteran/retiree, Gold Star family, and surviving spouse military members. This ongoing collaboration has generated over $1.2 million worth of tickets for service members this season.
Following the game, the service members had the opportunity to attend a meet-and-greet session with the Mavericks players and entertainers. Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall expressed gratitude, stating, "It is our honor to recognize and celebrate these brave men and women in uniform. Because of their sacrifice, we are free to enjoy the game we love with the people we love, and we are grateful for their service."