Pittsburgh Steelers Linebacker TJ Watt had a record-breaking season, leading the league with 19 sacks and his subsequent sack-celebrating high kick. While Watt gives us plenty to cheer about on the field, it's what he's doing off the field that has us most impressed. This year, Watt partnered with USAA to give away two Super Bowl tickets to a deserving veteran. Enter Adam Alexander.
Alexander enlisted in the Army Reserves as a Civil Affairs Specialist in 2008 while attending the University of Wisconsin–Platteville, eventually achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant in 2012 when his service career ended due to injuries sustained in combat. In 2011, Alexander was deployed to Afghanistan as part of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) stationed in the province of Paktya, when he was struck in the head by sniper fire during an insurgent attack on his base. The attack left Alexander with just a 5% chance of survival, but he was up for the fight.
Alexander's new mission is to be a full-time volunteer and father to his 1-year-old daughter. He is a devoted member of Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 17 in Winnebago County, working as an advocate for veterans’ issues. His responsibilities include engaging local schools, providing testimony to the Wisconsin State Legislature for a bill that would expand eligibility for property tax credits for other disabled veterans, and hosting a half-hour public-access television program – “The Outpost” – providing support and raising awareness for local veterans.
In recognition of his philanthropic achievements, Alexander was named DAV’s 2022 Disabled American Veteran of the Year—an award presented to veterans who, despite their wounds, have had a substantial impact in serving their brothers- and sisters-in-arms. His decorated service history includes being awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Action badge, and the Army Commendation Medal with Valor. Alexander is a lifelong NFL fan, and his favorite team is the Green Bay Packers. Alexander plans to bring his father-in-law, a Vietnam-era Army Veteran, with him to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas where they will both meet TJ Watt before going to the game.
We caught up with TJ Watt at the USAA Salute to Service Lounge as part of the Super Bowl experience to see what this opportunity meant to him: