Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation recipient of Armed Forces Merit Award
Foundation has raised funds to assist veterans, student-athletes and the homeless
Coordinated by the staff at the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the FWAA was created in June 2012 “to honor an individual and/or a group within the realm of the sport of football.”
The “official” announcement of Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation was made during the noon ET edition of SportsCenter on Friday followed by a teleconference at 1 p.m. with the foundation’s leaders, Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., and his mother Monica Daniels.
At the teleconference, Brant Ringler, executive director of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, and David Ubben, 2022 FWAA President, congratulated the Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation as the 2022 recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award.
The Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation was selected from a list of 50 nominations (43 individuals and seven programs) as the 2022 recipient by a nine-person committee made up of FWAA members and Bowl officials.
“The foundation established by Paris and his mother is very unique where a student-athlete and his family are actively involved with helping military veterans,” said Ringler. “While playing a key role on one of the nation’s top collegiate football teams, what Paris is accomplishing through his foundation is remarkable. We hope at least one player on every college football program in the United States can follow the exemplary example that Paris has set.”
“The Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation provides much-needed assistance for the veterans. What makes Paris special is that he has taken the time to help so many in his community while playing college football and studying at The Ohio State University,” Ubben said. “We applaud him and his mother for the work that they are doing with the foundation.”
The Paris Johnson Jr. Foundation, established by the ESPN midseason All-America during his high school days in Cincinnati, has raised more than $10,000 to assist veterans, student-athletes and the homeless.
The foundation is dedicated to empowering and serving disabled veterans and disadvantaged student-athletes with helpful resources that benefit them.
“I’ve always been passionate about veterans,” Johnson said. “I have so much respect for veterans. It’s easy to say it, but words are just words. Our team tries to find a way to give back to those people who have arguably made the second greatest sacrifice on earth. Those people shouldn’t have to worry about the basic necessities when they come back home. They should be taken care of by the people that they protected.”
“Paris is a wonderful individual, one who cares about and takes care of those who are less fortunate,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said. “He does this through his foundation. These efforts are indicative of the leader that he is … on the field and off. He is a conscientious young man, an incredibly sincere and thoughtful individual, and someone I can’t wait to see succeed in life as an upstanding citizen.”