2018 Pedestal Award Recipient

Donnie Edwards

Donnie Edwards was born in Chula Vista, California the second of eight brothers and sisters. Despite stark financial circumstances, Donnie was determined to better his circumstances through a commitment to education and sports. Raised by his Native American Grandfather, Sgt. Max Razo, a World War II Pearl Harbor Survivor, Donnie never forgot his grandfather’s words and actions of “Taking care of the ones who took care of us.”

From the relationship with his Grandfather, Donnie received a degree in political science, focusing on military and war history. Recognized as much for off-field pursuits than his gridiron exploits, Edwards has been a dedicated supporter of the United States Military.

For the past 22 years, Donnie has donated time and money to American military causes and often visits military bases to speak with servicemen and women. He has been part of seven USO tours, visited troops fighting in the Middle East, Africa and in war torn areas like Somalia and Kuwait, along with spending two days with troops returning home from Iraq on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

In honor of his Grandfather and his dedication to the United States Military, Edwards founded his Best Defense Foundation. Keeping his Grandfather’s incentive to heart, the foundation’s slogan and mission is to help Military Veterans and their families to “Take Care of the Ones Who Took Care of Us”.

The Foundation has three pillars in which it meets its mission. “Community” – Creating a community of mentors and friends as our veterans transition to civilian life. “Honor” – Remembering and honoring the sacrifice our veterans have made for us. “Support” – Supporting our veterans and their families in a way needed through their civilian life transition.

In addition, and in following with the foundation’s mission, Donnie regularly takes trips throughout the year with former World War II veterans to dedicate monuments and battlefields of that era. Giving the veterans a chance to reunite with their brothers in arms, celebrate their sacrifice and an opportunity for closure of their military experiences.

In recognition of Donnie Edwards’ unwavering dedication and support for our military, both personally and through his Best Defense Foundation, the Los Angeles Charges inducted him as the Service Award Recipient of 2017.

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