Season 43 of Survivor just ended, and the winner, Mike Gabler, gave an emotional speech and promised to give the $1 million prize to veterans. This made many players and fans cry.
Gabler, a 52-year-old engineer for heart valves, had said all season that if he won the money, he would do this because he respected veterans like his father, who served in the Army.
This was Gabler’s beautiful answer when host Jeff Probst asked him what he would do with the money.
“There are people who need that money more, so I’m going to give the whole prize, the whole million-dollar prize, in the name of my father, Robert Gabler, who was a Green Beret, to veterans in need who are recovering from psychiatric problems, PTSD, and suicide. We’re going to help people and do good things.”
In another conversation that People shared, Gabler said that the money would help, but he learned a lot more while he was away for more than a month on Survivor that will help him and his family.
I’ve worked hard and been lucky, but now that I’ve been through this, I realize that I’m rich at home. At home, I have a great life. My family is wonderful. I have amazing friends. I need to be a better husband, father, brother, and son. I’ll do all of those things, just like everyone else will when we go home. And to take this million dollars at a time when people don’t want to look at the news, we say, “Well, that’s why we watch Survivor, because amazing things happen on this show, and we just did another one on season 43.” We’re going to help veterans in need by giving them the whole million dollars, and I’ll always be grateful that we did this. “Guys, we did it!”
Gabler’s donation is likely to help a lot of veterans get back to normal life in the United States.
The National Center for PTSD says that Gabler has found a big problem that affects a lot of veterans every year. In their most recent study, up to 20% of those who served in Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom were diagnosed with PTSD in any given year. The study says that about 30% of Vietnam War veterans will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
Gabler ended his moving speech with a great line that summed up everything he had done on Survivor.
“We all did this in Season 43. They will get a million dollars. “Guys, we made history!”