The Tampa Bay Lightning honored Michael Delancey as a Lightning Community Hero during the first period of tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators. Delancey, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, Pinellas Park National Little League and Pinellas Park Pony Baseball.
Delancey served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, when unfortunately with two weeks remaining in his second tour in 2006, he was struck by enemy gunfire. After countless surgeries, Delancey, who was only 21-years-old at the time, lost the ability to move his legs and is now paralyzed from the waist down, limited to a wheelchair. The marine is a Purple Heart recipient for his valor and bravery, which he demonstrated in the battlefield protecting innocent lives while he was overseas serving his country proudly. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush flew to see Delancey while he was in the hospital to present him with the Purple Heart.
In January, Delancey joined 30 other injured veterans on a specially outfitted bike, a 21-speed hand crank, and completed a race from Miami to Key West with the finish line at the U.S.S. Mohawk. He also continues to help coach youth football in Pinellas County and mentors elementary school kids. Delancey also travels around from school-to-school to talk to students about tragedies in life and how to overcome them. He has inspired everyone around him and has epitomized what a true American hero means.