By Josh Cohen
April 8, 2017
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic have made a concerted effort over the past few weeks to share the ball and trust one another. Frank Vogel, his coaching staff and his players recognize the importance of team cohesiveness. In many ways, this is why the Magic rank in the top 10 in assists over the last dozen games.
Through his own life experiences, U.S. Marine Corps Corporal David Bravo has the same attitude and outlook. He knows that good teamwork is critical for success.
Bravo served as an air defense controller in the Marines from 2011 to 2016. Through outstanding leadership and devotion, he rose up the ranks and played a major role while deployed in Afghanistan. He directed fighter aircrafts, helped launch surface-to-air missiles, conducted surveillance and performed tactical air traffic control and data link coordination.
Bravo’s contributions and attention to teamwork never went unnoticed. In fact, shortly after being discharged from the military, he and his family received some incredible news. Thanks to JP Morgan Chase and Operation Homefront, a national organization whose mission is to build strong, stable and secure military families and help them thrive, the Bravos were awarded a mortgage-free home in Riverview, Fla. They will move into the new home in July.
As part of the Magic’s Fan Appreciation Night, Bravo and his family were honored on the court for their military service during Saturday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. They also were surprised with a 55-inch television, a $1,000 check for home furnishings, tickets to Walt Disney World, a bicycle for the kids and a personalized Magic jersey.
“It’s definitely surreal and I’m kind of still in shock,” an elated and grateful Bravo said. “It’s outstanding, a huge experience and will always be a great moment in our lives. It’s definitely helping us out immensely.”
Bravo hopes the new home and support from the Magic will help his family live healthier and be more successful. He is currently attending Hillsboro Community College with plans to complete a degree in information technology and pursue a career in network systems.
Bravo and his wife Claudia, who also was in the Marines, can already tell this assistance has made a big difference for their two kids, Francisco and Annaliese.
“It’s (the new home) definitely going to help us in every way,” Bravo said. “Specifically because it puts you that far ahead. I can’t explain how awesome it is and how thankful I am.”
Since 2012, Operation Homefront has placed nearly 600 military families nationwide in new homes.
Through the Military and Veterans Affairs program which commenced in 2011, JPMorgan Chase has hired more than 11,000 veterans and facilitated 385,000 veteran hires through the Veteran Jobs Mission coalition; awarded 900 mortgage-free homes to military families in need; helped 6,600 veterans and military spouses complete 9,100 career certifications through Veterans Career Transition Program at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families. The program was co-founded and is supported by JPMorgan Chase and Syracuse University.