ALBUQUERQUE – The NMAA has partnered with former NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira, an NFL TV analyst, to launch “Battlefields to Ballfields” in New Mexico.
Battlefields to Ballfields is a Foundation that provides military veterans an opportunity to integrate back into their communities through officiating.
Mike Pereira will be in Albuquerque Thursday to officially launch the program – New Mexico will be the first state to do so and will serve as the template for implementation nationwide.
The Foundation pays for uniforms and dues that are required by the associations the veterans will join at the local level. Battlefields to Ballfields pays for their equipment, training materials, insurance, and provide a mentor who will train and follow them as they move up the ladder in officiating.
Those who have been involved in officiating already have felt the joy of stepping out onto the field or a court. With it comes a great sense of value that leaves one with a feeling of accomplishment.
In serving in the military, and in officiating, there’s the common bond of being a member of a team and creating order out of chaos. Battlefields to Ballfields provides these veterans with an opportunity to hone their newfound officiating skills and participate in something that will give them a new sense of self-worth along with the ability to make some extra income.
“We are extremely excited to partner with Mike Pereira and Battlefields to Ballfields,” NMAA Executive Director Sally Marquez said. “The program is not only great for the veterans who have served our country, but it also will help the state association grow its officials’ numbers during a time where we are experiencing major shortages in all sports.”