Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.A.
Video by: Detroit Pistons
In 2013, [HAS HEART] was featured as a Game Changer by the Detroit Pistons. We were also chosen as the designated nonprofit organization to receive free tickets to the game by Kyle Singler.
Knowing that Kyle studied graphic design while at Duke, after the game, [HAS HEART] asked Kyle if he would be interested in working with a Veteran. He immediately said, “Yes, I would love to do that!”
Partnering with the Detroit Pistons to coordinate the logistics, the [HAS HEART] team was able to drive across state to Auburn Hills with a special Ludington-area Veteran, Eric Lund.
Joined by Pistons in-house graphic designer, Nick Zalewski, along with a small team of videographers, Kyle and Eric started sharing stories and brainstorming concepts, many of them centering around Eric’s relentless spirit to overcome his injuries by learning how to surf without arms.
With Eric’s aunt and fellow National Guardsman, Eric Ensley, by his side, the room was filled with hilarious stories from the past, heartbreaking accounts of that enemy attack, and uplifting moments of blessings received from his family during his recovery.
By the end of an action-packed, emotional day, the team packed up their cars and caravanned back to Grand Rapids until it was time to unveil the final design at a Pistons game later in the season.
V.XX.MMXII, May 20th, 2012, then 29 year-old Michigan National Guard soldier, Eric, and his team were hit by a roadside bomb.
Flipping his vehicle over and pinning him underneath, Lund suffered numerous severe injuries that included the loss of both arms. He battled intensely in order to survive, and since then, he’s done much more than just that…
The blue wave-like motion within his design represents defying the odds in learning how to surf, while the red stands for the stripes on the U.S. flag. The fluidity of the design signifies the journey Lund faces on a daily basis, while the olive branches signify the victory he works toward and the reward of peace it brings him. The dot within the “V” is the “faith of a mustard seed” he and his family clung onto in the darkest hours. Each star symbolizes an arm lost while the “A” above is a reminder that May 20th was really his “alive day” in his new life where nothing goes unappreciated.
Eric’s design was unveiled at a Pistons home game. He was taken back into the team locker room before they game where everyone posed of pictures and a group selfie.
Then, Eric was interviewed during the pre-game telecast before getting to watch the game courtside. During a break in the action, Eric’s design and video story were played on the jumbo screen, with a standing ovation soon to follow.
His shirt quickly sold out, and reorders continue to come in. Proceeds generated from the shirt sales helped Eric finish building his “Smart Home,” custom-designed to enabled him independent living at home.