Survivor Contestant Donated $1 Million Win in Support of Veterans


The country greeted a new hero recently when a Survivor contestant donated $1 million in prize money to military veterans. Mike Gabler donated his $1 million win when he won Survivor 43. As the son of a Green Beret, the Kingwood, Texas native didn’t think twice about giving away the money to those who dedicated their lives in the name of the country’s freedom; his $1 Million cash prize was donated in the name of his father, Robert Gabler.

The heart valve specialist and Survivor champion told the host Jeff Probst, “There are people who need that money more.” Mike Gabler also said that his donation was for veterans who suffer from PTSD, psychiatric problems, and those with suicidal ideations and tendencies.

Why did Mike Gabler feel the need to dedicate his win to our veterans so much?

Here are some facts about some of the country’s heroes — from historical to fairly recent ones.

Notable US Veterans

Omar Bradley

Omar Bradley was responsible for the American D-Day invasion. At the time, he was the US field commander on the Normandy invasion. Omar Bradley was nicknamed “G.I.’s General” because of his humility and concern toward soldiers of lower ranking than him.

Colin Powell

Colin Powell was known to accomplish many things. The first black US Secretary of State served in the Vietnam war twice. One year after his first service in Vietnam, President John F. Kennedy awarded him a Purple Heart. On his second service, Colin Powell showed his bravery again after coming back for his comrades after escaping a helicopter crash. The former US Secretary of State served 35 years in military service and was a 4-star general.

George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush was a US Navy veteran — and he fought in World War 2. Perhaps the most well-known story during his military tenure was when he almost got cannibalized.

George H.W. Bush then was fighting for the country in the Pacific. He was a torpedo bomber who narrowly escaped the Japanese soldiers when his naval aircraft crashed. The former President was the only one to survive the crash while the rest of his 9 comrades died — four of them were eaten by their enemies.

Douglas McArthur

Douglas MacArthur was an American General who led the US soldiers during World War 2 in the Pacific. He rallied the Allied Forces of the Pacific to fight against the Japanese during the war. He’s also known for defending the Philippines’ territory and conquesting New Guinea during Japan’s invasion of the countries shortly after bombing Pearl Harbor; Douglas MacArthur also played a huge role in the Korean War.

Chris Kyle

If you’ve watched American Sniper before, starring Bradley Cooper, or if you’ve watched the CONAN episode where Chris Kyle was one of the guests, then you’re probably familiar with the former Navy SEAL’s achievements — the veteran marksman has 160 confirmed kills. This makes Chris Kyle one of the most decorated soldiers in the Iraq War. Sadly, and tragically, he was shot by a fellow soldier when they were at a shooting range near Chalk Mountain, Texas — his murderer reportedly suffered from PTSD.

States With the Most Veterans

According to the US Census Bureau, there are 16.5 million American US veterans in the country — almost half of these former soldiers are aged 65 and above.

A list of states with the most veterans:

  1. Texas (1,408,464)
  2. Florida (1,356,882)
  3. California (1,342,337)
  4. Pennsylvania (641,525)
  5. Virginia (641,114)
  6. Ohio (621,890)
  7. North Carolina (615,452)
  8. New York (614,289)
  9. Georgia (595,743)
  10. Illinois (496,352)


Winning isn’t always everything, but a win can potentially mean the world to those who fought above and beyond the call of duty. Mike Gabler, the winning Survivor contestant donated $1 Million to help those who sacrificed so much for our country. The cash may be grand, but the gesture Mike Gabler made is grander. Even if you don’t have $1 million to donate, your kindness to the veterans also helps them.

Last but not least, if you’re in a position to help veterans with their pleas for better retirement rights, and for their mental health to be addressed on a bigger scale, be their voice.

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