Madison - Jake Wood's Wisconsin football career didn't make any highlight reels, but his post-Badger work is far more important than anything that happens on the field. Wood (UW, '04) joined the Marine Corps in 2005. He was promoted to Sergeant and served four years in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was honorably discharged in 2009, but his work with veterans was just beginning.
Wood co-founded Team Rubicon in 2010. Team Rubicon helps veterans adjust to post-military life by teaming them up with first responders and medical workers to provide aid in disaster areas. Wood's also been an advocate for improving mental health services for veterans.
This year, ESPN will honor Wood at the ESPY Awards. He'll be presented with the Pat Tillman Award for Service on July 18th. Tillman turned down a lucrative NFL contract to join the Army Rangers shortly after 9/11. He was killed in a friendly fire accident in 2004.
Wood shared his response on twitter:
"Honored & humbled to receive this award and be associated w Pat Tillman, the man that inspired me to find the courage to serve alongside my fellow Americans. Not the #ESPY I envisioned when I joined the @badgerfootball team in '01 but def more meaningful."