Heroes in the Making: Army Specialist Michael Wendt and Air Force Staff Sergeant Matt Lentz
Wolves Editorial/Social Media Associate
As part of the Operation Minnesota Heroes Month presented by the Roger and Nancy McCabe Foundation and POPP Communications, the Minnesota Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation was proud to recognize Army Specialist Michael Wendt and Air Force Staff Sergeant Matt Lentz as its Heroes in the Making during the Timberwolves-Kings contest Tuesday night at Target Center.
Army Specialist Michael Wendt served with the 652 Engineering Company in Iraq from 2009 through 2010 while Air Force Staff Sergeant Matt Lentz served multiple deployments with the 99th Security Support Squadron, including the early days following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Oakdale and Coon Rapids residents, Wendt and Lentz met for the first time tonight and while they did not know each other, it was evident they shared a bond many may not.
However, for two brave men that have seen struggles most cannot fathom, Tuesday's recognition caught them off guard.
“I was amazed,” Wendt said. “I thought, why me? It was just great all together. It was overwhelming. I’m really humbled to be here. I went over to Iraq and I think I was more nervous tonight. It was pretty overwhelming out there.”
“It was pretty intense,” Lentz said. "There were 15,000 people staring at us—that's 10 or 15 seconds of fame right there.”
Timberwolves President Chris Wright, along with Roger and Nancy McCabe presented Wendt and Lentz with Kevin Love jerseys during an on-court presentation. Additionally, Skip Krawczyk, a member of the Minnesotans’ Military Appreciation Fund steering committee presented both Heroes with a grant from MMAF in honor of their sacrifices for their country.
"I don’t know what to say really," Lentz said. "It was amazing to see so many people out there and to support us. It felt really good."
"It’s really nice that you get to go out and know that everyone in the state is appreciative of you and what you’ve done," Wendt said. "It’s hard to describe. It’s very humbling."
About the FastBreak Foundation
The Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation provides and supports hands-on programs that positively impact Minnesota youth. Through giving, education and basketball opportunities, the Foundation enables young people to make responsible decisions, contribute to their futures, and experience lifelong memories. In the past year, the Minnesota Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation and the Minnesota Lynx Foundation have combined to impact 2,565 organizations with $1,008,107 in-kind donations, 60,000 Tickets for Kids donations, 4,328 volunteer hours, 53 Heroes in the Making on-court presentations and 14 $5,000 grants.
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