The Minnesota Timberwolves and the FastBreak Foundation have been sharing the stories of many military members throughout the month as it is “Operation Minnesota Heroes Month" for the organization.
Throughout the month, the organization has honored those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.
During Military Night on Nov. 19, there was a great feeling of patriotism in the Target Center. A big reason for that was because of a father and son who stepped on the court early in the third quarter.
World War II Veteran Joe Kovar and his son Vietnam Veteran Doctor Joe Kovar were honored at midcourt. The two received a standing ovation from the crowd. The eldest Kovar had liberated four concentration camps. (Yes, four. That’s not a typo.) He said after being recognized that it does a lot to catch him off guard going through what he’s been through, but the appreciation he received on Military Night at the Target Center did just that.
“I am just overwhelmed. I think it’s just one of the most super acts I’ve seen and I see a lot of them, but this really caught me unprepared,” Kovar said. “I knew I was going to be honored, but I had no idea it was going to be this wonderful. I know Chris (Wright) and his team has just been super.”
Kovar is 91 years old, but that doesn’t stop him from continuing to give back to his country. Kovar still speaks at schools, conventions or pretty much anything else. He charges $100, but it’s not for himself.
“I speak at schools and civic groups – wherever they want me to and I tell them things you’ll never see in a book or see in the movies, because I was frontline infantry,” The Purple Heart recipient said. “I enjoy doing that. They usually take a free will offering and every penny I take in, goes to the vets home down in South Minneapolis. I see that they get things. And it’s just a wonderful deal. It goes both ways.”
The younger Kovar, also a Purple Heart honoree, explained how wonderful it was to get all of the military families under one roof, something that doesn’t happen very often.
“One of the things that this really precipitates is it allows a venue for veterans to get together and not only veterans, but their families, which very frequently do a lot of heavy lifting as far as supporting both our veterans and our current soldiers that are serving,” Dr. Kovar said. “They normally don’t get recognized, but the families are really the glue that holds all of this together for us. My appreciation really goes out for the families, the Timberwolves do a good job of facilitating that, and letting us make that happen.”
From the Timberwolves family, we want to send our thanks to the Kovar family for the sacrifices they have made for this country.
Make sure to check the site throughout the month for more coverage on “Operation Minnesota Heroes Month.”