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Nick’s Youth

Nick was born October 21, 1986 in Taipei, Taiwan ROC. After having lived abroad for several years his family moved back to the US on July 4, 1993 from Hong Kong. Nick was 7 at the time. Life was very different than what he was accustomed to. Besides enrollment in school and getting settled in his new environment he was introduced to a variety of activities that were popular with American children, and this included soccer.

In the beginning Saturday mornings consisted of a very involuntary Nick being placed on a soccer field for games. He did not like the sport. Over time, this changed and he came to love soccer – more than the other sports he played – basketball, lacrosse and baseball. As soon as he was old enough he did his referee training, and by the time he was in middle school he began to volunteer assistant coach for the Wilton Soccer Association. By his freshman year in high school, he was head coaching youth boys’ intramural soccer teams both spring and summer, and continued this till his final year in high school.

Win or lose, Nick’s team came off the field happy. During practice he would make it a point to speak to the players on their strengths, weaknesses, and advise them on how to improve their game, and encourage sportsmanship.

Nick Enlists in the Army

Private First Class Nicholas Alexander Madaras enlisted in the US Army in January 2005. He was 18 years old and still had one semester of high school to finish. Nick left for Basic Training at Ft. Benning , Georgia on July 4, 2005 shortly after his high school graduation. He finished basic training in October 2005 and stayed at Ft. Benning for Jump School. November of 2005 he was posted to Ft. Carson, Colorado, with the Silver Lions 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. His battalion was already posted in Iraq as of November of 2005. Nick was assigned to the Personal Security Detail of Lt. Col. Thomas Fisher, the Battalion Commander in Iraq. He left for Iraq in February 2006 to join his unit there.
His PSD assignment duties included being a driver in the commander’s convoy and he was the unit’s sharp shooter.

Home on Leave

While home on leave for 2 weeks during the summer of 2006, Nick talked a lot about the Iraqi children and how they were always smiling despite the on-going chaos of war, death and a frighteningly unknown future. Through his personal interactions with them he became fascinated by how the children dribbled, passed and shot their make-shift “balls” with remarkable ease; this, when all they had to kick around were tin cans and balls made of rags. Their natural talent and love of soccer made quite an impression on him.

The way to connect with the children was obvious to Nick. He asked his family to send him a few soccer balls so he could share his passion for the sport with the children, giving them a common ground of friendship and normalcy even for just a little while.

Returning to Iraq

A month after he returned to Baqubah, Iraq on September 3, 2006, while on a mission the LT. Colonel redirected his convoy to pick up a few wounded soldiers. On their way back to base camp, the convoy ran into an IED trap, the LT. Colonel’s vehicle was disabled. Nick dismounted and while posting security, was hit by shrapnel from yet another IED explosion which was set off down the road from his position. He died in the arms of a fellow soldier. His unit returned home in October. He never got the chance to put a single ball in a child’s hand.

Medals and commendations awarded:
1. Purple Heart for bravery by the United States of America
2. The Bronze Star Medal, for his dedication to the security of the United States of America
3. The Good Conduct Medal by the Department of the Army for exemplary behavior, efficiency and fidelity in active federal military service,
4. The Army Commendation Medal by the Department of the Army for exceptional performance as a driver and rifleman, discipline, initiative and personal courage.

Legacy

Shortly after September 3rd 2006, we got a call from a gentleman, Ken Dartley of Wilton, who read about Nick’s passion for the sport and his desire to share this love with the Iraqi children. He asked if it would be alright with us to start a program of collecting soccer balls in Nick’s honor to fulfill Nick’s wish to share his passion. That was the beginning of the program “Kick For Nick.”

Soldiers who have distributed the balls to the children have told us this act of kindness and generosity has given way to an atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie. Nick showed us many photos of the people and children in Iraq. He was amazed at how they would be smiling despite their difficult situation. The ball distribution, a gesture of friendship regardless of political differences, brings a feeling of hope and unification…leaving no room for cultural or religious barriers. The simple act of sharing, in Nick’s case a sport he loved so much, inspires hope for all to play on the same field, together and live in harmony.

This is the heart and soul behind the “Kick For Nick” program, inspired by a young man who loved every aspect of the game of soccer, especially the team spirit it engendered.

Nick has inspired in death, as much or even more, good as he would have done in life. The Kick For Nick Foundation continues his mission to foster hope and unity to the less fortunate children of the world and their families, displaying a true representation of the compassion and generosity of US Troops and the American people as envisioned by one young soldier.

Photos of PFC Nicholas A Madaras

PFC Nicholas A Madaras's Wall

Messages written to Nick. Submit yours below...
  • Dear Nick: I was SO touched this evening when I first heard about the Kick for Nick program. Wow! What a legacy you left behind. I was very sad while reading of the cause of your death, yet proud to read of the special humanitarian effort which you began with children in a war zone. Your family must be awfully proud of you. It’s a shame that your life was taken from you, because this world needs men of good character, like you. I know you are in heaven, watching down upon us. Please pray for those of us who remain in this world which seems to be filled with hatred, racism, and bigotry. Thank you so much for your service to our country. Airborne!

  • I just watched the story about Nick Madaras on ESPN. I cannot say how moved I was by the story, especially being a dad of twin 7-year-olds who enjoy playing soccer, but don’t have to worry about balls, cleats, equipment etc. because… they live in America. I have already mentioned this to my kids…. about their privilege. My son also watched this story with me on ESPN.

    I know how important and rewarding it is to see smiles on the faces of children, not only on ours, but all over the world. Which I strongly believe will make this a better world to live in,

    I can’t imagine the sadness of losing a child but I really applaud not only Nick’s service to our country, but the positive attitude shown by Mr. ad Mrs. Madaras and their gesture.

    I can’t change the world, but this has struck me to the core, so along with my children, I will certainly try to help out for the cause.

    DP, Boston, MA

  • It has been an honor to help create the Kick For Nick site. We feel privileged in helping to spread the work about this wonderful young man and the mission created in his honor.

  • We so happy to be a part of keeping Nick’s dream alive!

  • Bill and Shalini What a wonderful tribute and memorial to Nick. Thanks for sharing this with me.

  • We support Kick for Nick! What a wonderful endeavor!

  • WE WERE TOUCHED BY NICK’S STORY AND WOULD LIKE TO HONOR HIM THIS VETERAN’S DAY BY DONATING SOCCER BALLS SO HIS MEMORY AND DEVOTION TO THE CHILDREN OF IRAQ MAY LIVE ON.

  • Im so touched with the story of nick i wish his family the best and I hope that nicks dream will keep motivating many other people.

  • It was fantastic meeting you yesterday at the Amercian Motivation Awards, what your son did was truly inspirational and showed what a wonderful soul he was to this world. Your family carrying on his legacy like this has brightened the lives of many children, and I’m sure Nick is smiling down upon you from above. God bless. – Fran Capo Worlds Fastest Talking Female

  • i was amazed how this affected me when i heard nick’s story i was truly touched and as a deicated soccer player myself i plan to do anything i can to help. = )

  • I just read the story of Nick’s soccer balls. Our small town collected balls in 2005 and sent them to a local soldier in Iraq. He sent pictures of his unit handing out the balls to the kids and playing with them. Such a wonderful thing. I am sure Nick is watching with a smile on his face. God bless all our troops and families.

  • Hi Linda & Fran Capo I came across your website while I myself was looking for people who can collect or fund my children soccer teams (4 teams) with soccer balls here in South Africa. Tears were running on my face as I sat at the internet cafe and reading about Nick.Nick had a good heart,he did a wonderful job. Now I also realise that what I’m doing here for these street children is very important. Thank you for this inspiring story of Nick ,May God bless his family. E-mail. ame2lla@yahoo.co.uk

  • I AM CURIOUS IF I CAN HELP TO DISTRIBUTE THE SOCCER BALLS THAT YOUR FAMILY HAS COLLECTED I AM A CIVIL AFFAIRS SOLDIER IN IRAQ AND I KNOW HOW MUCH SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS A SOCCER BALL CAN BRIGHTEN THESE CHILDRENS LIVES. YOUR SON HAS A BIG HEART AND IM SURE HE ENJOYED BRINGING JOY INTO THESE LESS FORTUNATE CHILDRENS HEARTS. IF THERE IS ANY WAY I CAN BE INVOLVED AND HELP DISTRIBUTE THE SOCCER BALLS PLEASE LET ME KNOW THANK YOU. V/R SPC. HESS, STEVEN civilaffairsCAT02@yahoo.com

  • Great Idea! God Bless Nick and his wonderful Family<3

  • Thank you for helping us connect with the local population. The relationships that are started because of this program is paying many benefits.

  • I was moved when I saw this operation. As a lifetime soccer player, youth coach and OIF Veteran, I identified deeply with this. I applaud your efforts and hope this continues for many years. Semper Fidelis, Sgt Jonathan Snyder USMC

  • Thanks for your time served in our military. You paid the ultimate price for your country. Even though you are gone your spirit will live on here and with the kids u help in Iraq forever! Thanks Nick.

  • your son gave his life but is legacy will live on , Being the dad of six kids, five of which have played soccer, it is the sport that crosses all nation and all children, Nick will not beforgotton

  • I can be free to do what I want thanks to those who have worked and sacrifice to maintain this way of life. My husband served 20 years in the USAF and I served 6 in the ANG. He was a peacekeeper in Bosnia. Words can not express what I feel about your son’s sacrifice. All I can say is Thank You. Thank You. Thank you.

  • Amazing story on espn. thanks for serving nick

  • When I saw this special on ESPN, I was deeply moved. Being a lifelong soccer player, the thought of sending soccer balls to Iraq never crossed my mind. The fact that Nick was so deeply involved by this deeply moved me to help and I have donated balls in his memory. Thank you for your service Nick!

  • Thank you Nick. I am going to tell my family, friends and co-workers about Nick and the soccer ball campaign in his honor. Nick, you are an American hero. God is using your life to bless many others. Thank you Nick and God bless your family.

  • what an amazing story this is. I saw the special on ESPN today and just couldnt believe how amazing it was. How one person can make a difference. thank you Nick for serving. REST IN PEACE. I will be sending a soccer ball asap. again thank you. P.S. I will post this on my myspace and hopefully others will follow kick for nick.

  • Greatness personified. Those kids are so happy to receive soccer balls. That is an awesome story and I think getting out and playing sports is good for anyone especially kids going through tough times. Thank you Nick and thank you for that Korean War Vet who helped Nick realize his dreams. Today is veterans day and I choose to remember guys like Nick that make me be proud to be American:)

  • I saw the special on ESPN and was deeply touch by NIcks passion to make a difference. I am a life-long soccer player and I can can only hope that everyone donates something to keep his passion alive. To Nicks Parents…I am very sorry for your loss and I hope the everyone embraces your sons dream to honor his memory!!!

  • Thanks to those serving in our military. Many thanks to their family and friends as well. Good work, Nick. Well done.

  • God bless you and your family for your service to our country and for your loving support to the children of Iraq. You soccer balls bring many, many smiles.

  • To: PFC Nick, i stand up and salute such a brave soldier. I have seen your story on ESPN and was touched to see how big of a heart you have. It’s because people like you that make this country so special. To Nick’s parents,my heart goes out to you and your entire family. May God continue to bless you and comfort you. As a soldier always know that we will always keep Nick’s memory alive.

  • you are doing a very good thing by doing this

  • i saw the story about nick just a few minutes ago while sitting at the liberty center on my military base i think that you guys are doing a great thing for the kids in iraq and for your son and to nicks parents if i ever deploy i will think of nick while i am over there i will be in the military for three years and love ever second of it and love my job

  • I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I too just came home from Iraq not to long ago. I know he did everything the best he could and I know this is hard on your family just know that everyone else is grieving the loss of your son and a brother.

  • I just saw the story on espn and what a great story,god bless you nick you made a ex soccer player choked up. Soccer is a great team sport. To Mr. and Mrs. Madaras you raised a great son god bless you.

  • I just saw Nick’s story on ESPN again. What an amazing story and a great cause. God bless!

  • This is a powerful story and I am going to try and collect balls at my school next year. nick has a truly amazing story and his wish is being granted more and more every day.

  • Amazing message Nick and your family is sending to everyone. God Bless our service men and women.

  • I just saw this story on ESPN. What a touching segment. On this Memorial Day, I wanted to say thank you Nick for your service and protecting our great country. Thank you, Madaras Family for raising such a stand up man and soldier. There needs to be more people in this world like Nick Madaras.. May God Bless….

  • I must admit I had seen the original story run on ESPN Outside the Lines & no doubt was moved then as I am now. However, today May 25th I felt compelled to donate for this cause. What i want to note & make clear is we need to be thankful each day & feel compelled to show our appreciation for these young men & women who sacrifice so much & in Nick’s case the ultimate one EVERYDAY, not just Memorial Day. As a life-long soccer player I have to smile when I think of the good that came out of all this & what the end outcome is. Kid’s having fun playing soccer, futbol, or whatever you call it. My prayers are ever with Nick’s family & all those who lost an integral part of their lives for the life we so love here.

  • I am a huge soccer fan and avid sportcenter viewer. I was deeply moved by the entire story. I have tons and tons of soccer balls that I have collected over the course of the 17 years of playing soccer. I hope to send those. This whole story just shows the amazement of the human spirit.

  • We just went buy 8 balls and 4 pumps,will be sending them today!Thank you PFC Nick Madaras for serving our country and its people,but most of all for being a friend to the kids of iraq.These soccer balls may prevent some of these kids from being recruited by the evil forces of the al-qaeda and taliban,you show beauty in the ugly of war.Remember Nick, when you look down and see these kids playing soccer that your sacrifice and dreams made this happen.Without you,there would have been no kicks for Nick,again thank you.

  • R.i.P. PFC NiCK MADARAS

  • PFC N. Madaras, Memorial Day 2009 brought with it the usual solemn feeling and peacefulness that only patriots know of. I was watching television and the usual loop of ESPN’s Sportscenter and stopped when Nick’s story was aired. I vaguely remember the first time NIck’s story was run in 2008 and listened in on it this time around. I couldnt help but shed tears as I watched and listened to Nick’s father speak of his son. I was touched by the stranger who started a philanthropy Nick’s name. Many Americans tend to forget that our children, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, uncles and aunts, girlfriends and boyfriends, colleagues and mentors, are in harms way everyday. Nicks passion of a game that dominates the globe is the reason there are smiles on many Iraqi children. Even in the face of war, in a country that has seen fighting for the majority of the last 3 decades, there is hope. I hope the Kick for Nick foundation continues in helping in the restructuring of a wartorn nation. Thank you for your service and the sacrifice made in the defense of our great nation. Sincerely Tech Sergeant Andrew Warburton 180th Fighter Wing, Swanton OH, Ohio Air National Guard

  • Once i saw this story on sports center i was deeply moved by it. I saw it and i thought of what a great conrofmation project it would be. I am planning on collecting soccer balls and donating them to kickfornick. I am so excited to be working on this. This is a great cause and more people should know about it. My prayers go to the Madaras family and friends. RIP Nick Madaras.

  • I saw this story on Sportscenter and it moved me to tears. I thank you and your family for the sacrifice you have made so I can live in the greatest country in the world and raise my two daughters Ages 7 and 10. It is because of men of character like your son that we have the freedoms we enjoy each day. I cannot help but take up this cause. I once was a college soccer coach and now teach at a college. I am enlisting the donations of our students to take up this cause. I will contact other coaches to see if they will do the same. I am also contacting our recreation department to gather donations. I will look for soccer balls to donate each day, this will be my focus over the next year to remember your son…he is someone to be so proud of. The following if from William Faulkner accepting an award… I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, but to my work–a life’s work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust. It will not be difficult to find a dedication for the money part of it commensurate with the purpose and significance of its origin. But I would like to do the same with the acclaim too, by using this moment as a pinnacle from which I might be listened to by the young men and women already dedicated to the same anguish and travail, among whom is already that one who will some day stand where I am standing. Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only one question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat. He must learn them again. He must teach himself that the basest of all things is to be afraid: and, teaching himself that, forget it forever, leaving no room in his workshop for anything but the old verities and truths of the heart, the universal truths lacking which any story is ephemeral and doomed–love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice. Until he does so, he labors under a curse. He writes not of love but of lust, of defeats in which nobody loses anything of value, and victories without hope and worst of all, without pity or compassion. His griefs grieve on no universal bones, leaving no scars. He writes not of the heart but of the glands. Until he learns these things, he will write as though he stood among and watched the end of man. I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail. Nick seemed to have the soul of a poet. He has touched my heart and allowed me to again see the greatness in our society. He will previal and I honor him. Again I an indept to your family. May god bless each of you and memories be of fondness and love. He is a hero in my book!!

  • I had the privledge of serving with the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kirkuk, Iraq 12/07-12/08. During that tour, my second in Iraq, I was introduced to your wonderful mission of providing soccer balls to the kids, young & old, of Iraq by our mutual friend and fellow U.S. Navy veteran, Jack Burke. As a member of the PRT, I was able to visit the villages “outside the wire” often and I can assure you that the soccer balls were put to very good use. Because of them, many doors were opened to us that may have otherwise remained closed as even the toughest muktars, shieks and village elders would smile when the kids were being cared for in this way. Our young service men and women are the very best ambassadors the U.S. have to offer. Their genuine concern for the people of Iraq, especially the children, was obvious to all and is something all Americans should be extremely proud of, I know I am. Even in areas that were too dangerous for us to linger in, our brave soldiers would find a way to pass the balls out. The young turret gunners would keep a supply handy and toss them out to the kids as we sped past, usually accompanied by a thumbs-up, a big smile and a friendly wave. That’s the way to win hearts and minds and there are none better at it than our dedicated and patriotic young men and women in the field. So, in closing I want to thank you for making this possible and express my admiration to your family for turning your terrible loss and unimaginable grief into something so positive. May God Bless You and all those that have joined with you in this effort to spread goodwill throughout Iraq and the Middle East. God Bless America!

  • love you man, think about you all the time

  • I had the oppurtunity to be part of your foundation in my school we reached the goal of sending 1000 soccer balls. And in this day i would like to thank you for your service to our nation..YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN IN OUT HEARTS AND OUR MINDS YOU WILL STAY FOR EVER. I had the chance to get to know Mrs.Maderas and Mr.Maderas and we share your dream of bringing a game that is pure to a country were peace needs to settle. THANK YOU NICK VERY MUCH

  • nick you are awsome

  • nick is a great person

  • nick truly was a great unselfish person it was wonderful of him to want to donate soccer balls. NICK MADARAS IS AWESOME!!!!!!! HE IS A PERSON TO LOOK UP TO!!!!!!!!

  • you rock man oorha

  • Nick is a wonderful person he was realy brave he cares about other people thank you nick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! your #1

  • Thank you for your commitment, service, and sacrifice. Committed young men like yourself make this country as GREAT as it is. The example you set on and off the athletic field serves as a model for the youth of this country. God Bless You. I wish you Fair Winds and Following Seas!

  • I never had the pleasure to know Nick personally, but I am friends with one of Nick’s best friends with whom he served in Iraq. I have learned from many stories that Nick was a great soldier, a great person and most of all, a great friend.

  • i want to thanks that great person and i want to say to his familay god he will please him because of his brave with us army> know iraqi want to thanks nick . freedom don t came free and usa army they gives freedom to iraq thank so much

  • Wow. Thank you, Nick, for your bravery, your courage and for the love you had in your heart. This is what makes us Americans. I am so proud to be an American because of people like you. Prayers for his family. RIP.

  • I just saw nick being added to the chanel 11 wall. My prayers will be with Nick and family..

  • Miss you nicky. You’ll always be on my mind bro, stay safe and ill see you soon. love you cuz

  • Oy! Nick gracias tu participation es muy bueno!!

  • I LOVE NICK I PLAY SOCCER IN WILTON AND HE IS A HERO

  • I have donated lots of Futbols!!!! GO KICK FOR NICK!!!!!!!!!!!! he was the a great person

  • Thank you Nick. I heard about this website on the Military Channel American Legion American Heroes segment. I will be sending some soccer balls. I am an avid soccer player. It is people like you who make America, America. I will tell all of my friends about this site. R.I.P. Nick.

  • Nick, thank you for your service, i appreciate it. Thats why I’m doing the same. You the reason that America is such a good place. I hope to be with you someday, kicking soccer balls. Thank you, PFC Ty Frederick

  • Keep it going Kick for Nick is amazing!! I sent tons of soccer balls. Keep it going!

  • Nick lives on——I got choked up on the ESPN broadcast. —Doug Wickstrum

  • HIS WAY! AMEN! Your sacrifice can bring change and everlasting joy a world away! Thank you for caring so much!

  • i feel sad he died at the age of 19 wow i just heard

  • God Bless you Nick…… True hero… Never met you however the special on sportscenter moved me. If only more people like you exist in this world. Mr. and Mrs. Mandaras must be proud, your son is an Angel.

  • Nick, thank you for your courage and for fighting for our country! My husband also served in the Army from 05′ – 11′ and was deployed in Afghanistan and was severly injured and now is medically retired. God bless you! ” It wouldn’t be the land of the free if it wasn’t for the BRAVE.”

  • Bravo, Niko May your memory be eternal. To the Maderas family, Zoe se sas! Konstantinos Kounelis Carlsbad, CA

  • A hero defined, not because of the fierceness of his gun, rather the ferocity of his heart, and no greater weapon on this Earth can be found. A special human being indeed, people with hearts and souls like Nick, never leave us, they grow on us, like a flower springs from the soil…in bloom evermore.

  • Thank you for sharing the story of this young man’s life and legacy. The news often forgets to commemorate the good that our men and women have done. He is truly a heroic figure. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.

  • I know what it’s like to lose a son, and I share your pain. This is a wonderful way to keep his memory alive. I know he is proud of you and your efforts. God Bless

  • Dear Nick & Family, You make me so proud to be a Christian American. What an incredible mother and father who raised you to be so selfless. As a 9/11 Family I thank you for never forgetting us. I vow your legacy shall never be forgotten. Rest in peace until we meet again on the other side. You are my hero.

  • Hello, I just saw your story on FoxNews and was touched of Nick’s idea and passion. On this memorial day, I hope you find comfort in the fact that Nick has touched many lives and we thank you for that. From a fellow US military member currently serving.

  • Wow wat a hero.This is the best story I have heard.Absolutly unbelievable man

  • I did not know this hero, but from what I heard on ESPN Sport Center, he changed the lives of many families. Nick may not be able to personally be able to deliver the balls and see the faces of the children who receive them, but his legacy will live on forever, and a part of him will always be with the children of Iraq. Rest in peace PFC Nicholas Mandaras. Gone, but not forgotten. ***The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.***

  • As a military family I cannot say enough Thank Yous for what its being done for the kids, and at the same time for Nick. To Mr. and Mrs. Madaras I know you son is proud of what its being done my heart and prayers goes to your family. God Bless your family always, Gabriela Trahan. (Army Wife)

  • When I saw your story on Fox news Memorial Day I was truly touched. You should be so proud. I plan to get some soccer balls together from here in Kailua Kona Hawaii to send. If we can help the children then we have helped the world. Rest in Peace, you are a real Hero and started a project that cannot be stopped.

  • My family and I will be helping Nick’s cause ASAP. What an inspirational story! Please accept our sympathies and know we pray for strength for your family. We have a son who is an Army medic and did a tour in Iraq as well. Nick would be proud to know you are continuing his mission to help children. PFC Nicholas Madaras, forever in our hearts! Blessings, Kim DeBolt-Army Mom

  • I just watched the video on ESPN and want to let the family know I am sorry and care for you all.

  • Hello! We are all looking forward to sharing this weekend with you and CELEBRATING NICK!! Please let me know what you may need. Be blessed, Tina Lolla Coach Lolla’s wife

  • I was Nick’s Recruiter. Not a days goes by that I don’t think of Nick, I know Mr and Mrs Maderas blame me for Nick joining and will never forgive me for what happened. I wanted to say I am sorry about what happened.

  • This is an amazing story from now on I will wear his number on my sock when I play. THere is also a girl on the varsity soccer team at my school that wear his name and number on band around her arm Thank- You for your service

  • words do no justice ….you will always be missed !

  • I can’t tell you how proud we were to donate all of our kids’ old soccer balls to this outstanding effort. Coming from the parents of two recreational, club, premier, high school and ultimately college players, this story touched our hearts when we saw it on ESPN. Wonderful effort and we’re very proud to have helped in a small way. Thank you Nick for your service and sacrifice…and may God bless your family for continuing on with your vision.

  • i collected soccer balls when i turned five. i enjoyed it alot. i hope i can help again

  • My friends and I still play on Madaras field and we honor him everyday. What he did took not only bravery but a strong heart that was able to say goodbye. I hope you still rest in peace Nick.

  • Looking forward to the event 11/9/12 at O’Tooles! I will bring a bagful of balls!

  • Nick, its been 7 years since we lost you over in Baquba. I miss you every day brother. SGT Faith

  • Nick, I’m sorry that so much spam has defaced your memory, but I haven’t forgotten you. You’re in my thoughts every day. Always your battle buddy, Shield4G

  • We feel privileged in helping to spread the work about this wonderful young man and the mission created in his honor.

  • I saw this story about Nick on ESPN today. It was a very touching story, and so painful to see how the parents are grieving for their son. I pray for peace for the family, and its so inspirational to see the “Kick for Nick” program in his memory. I just want to say Nick gave the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country for all of us and I appreciate his service and sacrifice.

  • Today I watched your story again it makes me happy and breaks my heart all at the same time. My heart understands your grief because I lost a son in a automible accident in 1994. Your story is so very very close to me. See my son loved Soccer he played,coached and refed. We had know soccer program in our small high school so that is what we ask people to donate to a program in his memory. We started a soccer program the next year and the school has a game in his memory. Your story will have a special place in my heart forever. Sincerely Tracie S. Anderson Hampton,Sc

  • This weekend is the “Run for the Fallen 5K” at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. I am from CT and will be running honoring you Nick. As a nurse, I can feel that you would have been a great one. Thanks for the gifts you shared with those around you.

  • I am form kenya but just as I was looking into donos of used soccer gear I bumped into KICK FOR NCK. I read with sadness how he was nipped in the bud by cruel death. am happy you still carry on with his dream.

  • Currently serving in the Army and having been a graduate of Wilton High School myself, I felt a special connection to him when I first saw his story aired on ESPN. What a hero, and more importantly, what a legacy he has left. While most can think of prominent or famous figures as ‘great men’, to me, it is soldiers and men like Nick Madaras that define what a great man is. It is someone who’s memory makes you think everyday about whether you are living life the way you should. Thank you, Nick, RIP, God Bless, and always prayers for you and your family. -Eddie Kwon, OEF 12-13, WHS Class of ’97

  • Hey nick is been 9 years and your legacy still lives strong. I miss you man, everyday.

  • I am still grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Maderos for taking the time to film a Memorial Day segment about Nick for our student body a few years ago. Remarkable, courageous people! Our student body was exceptionally moved by the piece! Your legacy lives on the hearts of others, Nick! Rich Franzis Assistant Principal, Staples HS, Westport, CT Colonel, Retired, United States Army Operation Iraqi Freedom 07-09

  • It has been an honor to help create the Kick For Nick site. We feel privileged in helping to spread the work about this wonderful young man and the mission created in his honor.