CHARLOTTE TOUCHDOWN CLUB Announces Inaugural Recipient of “The Defender of the Nation Award”

Nick Kaylor

Charlotte, N.C. (November 8, 2016) - The Charlotte Touchdown Club today announced Andrew King, Cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, as recipient of its inaugural Defender of the Nation Award sponsored by The Independence Fund.

The Defender of the Nation Award celebrates our nation’s military academies and their many outstanding-student athletes according to John Rocco Executive Director Charlotte Touchdown Club. Rocco commented, "Congratulations to Andrew King as the first recipient of the Defender of the Nation award which is sponsored by The Independence Fund. We look forward to honoring King at this year’s Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet on December 5.”

Recipient of The Defender of the Nation Award was selected from the nation’s military academies and institutions including West Point, Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, The Citadel, Coast Guard Academy, Norwich University, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and Virginia Military Institute and is based on exceptional leadership qualities on the field, in the classroom and in the community. The recipient must also exhibit a high standard of integrity by leading through example.

"The Independence Fund was established to make a lasting impact on our nation’s veterans who have gone to extreme lengths to serve and defend our country,” said Dr. Richard Jadick, chairman, The Independence Fund. "We are proud to sponsor the inaugural Defender of the Nation Award, which celebrates our nation’s military academies and the athletes who demonstrate exceptional dedication and leadership on and off the field. As the first-ever recipient, Andrew King has set a high bar; he represents the very best of our nation and this honor is well-deserved.”

A two year starter at linebacker for the USMC at West Point, King enjoys football, working out and spending time with friends. King has played football since he was 7 years old and is the first person from Flushing High School to attend West Point. King has served as Platoon Leader and Honor Officer and majors in Law and Legal Studies.

Jeff Monken, United States Military Academy Head Football Coach, commented, "Andrew is one of the finest young men I have been associated with during my coaching career. He has the respect of everyone in the locker room as well as the Corps of Cadets for his character and his commitment to the United States Military Academy's values of Duty, Honor, Country. I am extremely proud of Andrew and what he has been able to accomplish at the Academy and he is truly one of America's best."


About The Independence Fund

The Independence Fund is a nonprofit organization that empowers our nation’s severely wounded veterans and the caregivers who support them to take control of their lives. Through its dedicated mobility and treatment programs, the Fund assists veterans in transforming their lives toward a better future. The Independence Fund believes we owe it to our veterans to provide the resources they need to move forward and build a strong foundation toward lasting emotional and physical healing in order to reestablish their independence. To learn more, visit


The Charlotte Touchdown Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1990 for the purpose of promoting high school, collegiate, and professional football in the Charlotte, North Carolina region. Since its inception, the club has grown as well as diversified boasting a sponsor team of more than (80) companies.  The Club's activities and services focus community attention on the outstanding Citizenship, Scholarship,Sportsmanship, and Leadership of area athletes and coaches.  Through individual and corporate support, more than $2,000,000 has been raised to benefit the Touchdown Club’s scholarship efforts.


The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually by the Charlotte Touchdown Club in conjunction with the Football Writers Association of America to the nation’s most outstanding NCAA Division I defensive football player at the Bronko Nagurski Awards Banquet in Charlotte, NC.  All proceeds benefit the Charlotte Touchdown Club Scholarship Fund. 


For more information, contact John Rocco (704-347-2918 or The official website of the Charlotte Touchdown Club is

Where Citizenship, Scholarship, Sportsmanship & Leadership are Honored

John Rocco | Executive Director
7725 Ballantyne Commons Parkway
Suite 103, Charlotte, NC 28277
office: 704.347.2918 | fax: 704.362.0411

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