Football Ops

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Every year, the NFL and the NFL Players Association come together in honor of Veterans Day to celebrate and recognize members of the military as part of the league’s Salute to Service. The league’s military appreciation efforts, which extend throughout the year, culminate in November with NFL Salute to Service games and special events honoring veterans, active-duty service members and their families

Since 2011, nearly $10 million has been raised through Salute to Service to support the league’s military appreciation non-profit partners, USO, Pat Tillman Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. In honor of the men and women who serve our country, the NFL will again donate $1,000 for every point scored during the NFL’s 32 Salute to Service games to the partners.

The NFL donates 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of Salute to Service merchandise and on NFL Auction to its military non-profit partners. The NFL does not profit from the sale or auction of Salute to Service merchandise.

The NFL works with its military non-profit partners to honor and support servicemen and women through Salute to Service. Here’s how:

USO

For the past 50 years, the NFL and USO have been committed to honoring and celebrating our service members and their families year round through the Salute To Service platform. Through the lens of football, we will continue to keep our service members connected to the things they hold dear: family, home and country with an additional $5 million donation over the next three years. This includes support for the USO’s Force Behind the Forces Campaign, a new development and renovation project that will allow the USO to expand services to an additional 125,000 service members and military families.

Contributions from the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign have supported a number of USO projects. This year alone, the USO used NFL donations to support the construction and renovation of seven new centers, eight Rally Point-6 Sites, three Military Entrance Processing Station upgrades and the refurbishment of 19 facilities for veterans, military service members and their families around the world.

Since teaming up with the USO in 1966, more than 250 NFL players, coaches, and executives have participated in 33 USO overseas tours visiting service members and military families around the world.

Pat Tillman Foundation

Contributions from the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign support the Tillman Scholar Program, which provides academic scholarships to veterans, active-duty service members and their spouses. To date, the foundation has provided more than 460 Tillman Scholars the opportunity to pursue degree programs of their choice. The NFL partnered with the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2010 to annually honor scholars who best exemplify Tillman’s enduring legacy of service. These individuals are now excelling in their careers and making a positive impact in the fields of medicine, law, business, science, education and the arts. The NFL’s contributions also support the annual Pat Tillman Leadership Summit, which convenes past and present Tillman Scholars to network, collaborate and present solutions to key challenges facing the country through scholar keynotes, panels and workshops with industry, non-profit and community leaders.

Wounded Warrior Project

The NFL works closely with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP), to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Contributions from the league’s Salute to Service campaign have funded the WWP’s Physical Health and Wellness Expos throughout the U.S., supporting more than 800 wounded warriors and family members. This year the NFL will provide financial support to Project Odyssey, one of the mental health programs WWP offers to its warriors and family members. Project Odyssey is helping to bridge the gap with continued mental health care for more than 2,000 wounded veterans annually to help them cope with the invisible wounds of war.

In addition, the NFL and USAA, the NFL’s Official Military Appreciation Sponsor, are continuing their annual Salute to Service Award, which recognizes NFL players, alumni, coaches, owners, and front-office staff who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson received the award last year. Jackson will serve on the award panel and vote to select the 2016 Salute to Service Award winner. The 2016 Salute to Service Award nominees will be recognized later this month. The finalists will be announced in January, and the winner will be recognized at NFL Honors in Houston on FOX on Saturday, Feb. 4, the night before Super Bowl LI.

A new military appreciation PSA will debut during NFL Salute to Service games on Nov. 6. This year’s campaign offers a unique take on the NFL and USO’s commitment to keeping service members connected to family, home and country through football and recognizes the various ways members of the NFL family show their appreciation for service members. In the new PSA, NFL players team with a military family to give one serviceman, and Dallas Cowboys fan, a football surprise. Tom’s family checks in with him over video chat while he’s stationed overseas. On this particular week, his family calls Tom from a special location, the Dallas Cowboys practice facility, where Cowboys WR Dez Bryant, CB Byron Jones and TE Jason Witten join to surprise Tom and show their appreciation for his service and sacrifice.

Throughout November, teams will designate one home game to honor the military. Beginning this Sunday and continuing throughout the month, NFL Salute to Service games will feature:

  • Players wearing helmet decals honoring military branches including Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard, as well as the NFL Salute to Service ribbon
  • Salute to Service ribbon footballs
  • Salute to Service Nike, Adidas and Under Armour gloves
  • Camouflage goal post wraps and pylons with camouflage ribbon decals
  • Wall banners and the words NFL Salute to Service written in the back of the end zone
  • Camouflage equipment for players including quarterback towels, captain’s patches, camouflage Gatorade towels, New Era caps and knits; and Nike apparel products
  • New Era camouflage hats for coaches and sideline personnel
  • Camouflage metal lapel pins for coaches and team executives
  • Salute to Service coins for the coin toss

Game-worn Salute to Service merchandise and footballs will be auctioned at NFL.com/Auction. Special camouflage merchandise will be available at NFLShop.com and in select stadium retail stores, with 100 percent of the NFL’s proceeds donated to the league’s military non-profit partners. The NFL does not profit from the sale or auction of Salute to Service merchandise. For more information, visit nfl.com/salute.

The NFL and its clubs work together with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to honor fallen service members and provide support to all those who have lost a loved one serving in our Armed Forces. This year, during their Salute to Service games, players from the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Los Angeles Rams will recognize surviving military families by wearing a special helmet decal with a fallen service member's initials.

Since 2011, USAA has used its sponsorship to honor and appreciate military, veterans and their families by fostering a closer understanding between military and the NFL. Among numerous events this season, USAA hosted NFL Boot Camps where military members competed in drills similar to those used at the NFL Combine. Fans can join the NFL and USAA in honoring the military community by visiting SaluteToService.com to see military appreciation highlights from across the league, including the ability to watch NFL players salute all military branches with helmet stickers and an expression of their inspiration behind the salutes.

In the support of Salute to Service, Barclaycard is donating one percent of all NFL Extra Points card purchases up to $50,000 to the USO throughout the month of November.

The NFL continues to offer its NFL Game Pass service free of charge at USO Centers for military members stationed in Afghanistan, Australia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Africa and Kuwait. At the USO facility in each of these locations, service members can watch any NFL game live and online in its entirety. NFL Game Pass also is offered free of charge at U.S. Embassies.

Learn more about the NFL’s military appreciation work and ongoing commitment to honoring and supporting veterans, service members and their families by visiting nfl.com/salute.

Below is a snapshot of how teams will honor the military during November:

Team

2016 Salute to Service (STS) Activities

Arizona Cardinals

At the Cardinals STS game on Nov. 13, United States Navy Retired Petty Officer First Class Steve Powell will perform the national anthem. A 100-yard field-sized flag will be unfurled by 175 military volunteers and Wounded Warriors. At the conclusion of the anthem, the bald eagle “Challenger” from the American Eagle Foundation will fly across the field. Halftime will feature a special live performance from the United States Marine Corps “Rock Band” of San Diego with the Cardinals cheerleaders. Throughout the game, all branches of the military will be saluted. On Oct. 25, the Cardinals kicked off their STS activities with a visit to Luke Air Force Base, along with USAA, to thank service members and open the base’s newest community center. On Nov. 15, the Cardinals will host their sixth-annual Pro vs. G.I. Joe event at their training facility, where Cardinals players will compete in a video game competition with military personnel from all over Arizona.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons will partner with the Tragic Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to honor 63 fallen soldiers and host their families at their STS game on Nov. 27. During the game, each active player will wear a special decal with the initials of one of the 63 fallen soldiers. The families of the fallen soldiers will hold the field-sized American flag during pregame ceremonies and will be recognized during the game. The families of the fallen soldiers will attend practice at the Falcons training facility the day before the game to meet the team and the player representing their family member. Four military members will lead the team out of the tunnel during pregame ceremonies and a military member will accompany the national anthem singer. The Falcons will also host their second annual Salute to Service week Nov. 7-11. The week will include a host of activities with current players and the Atlanta Falcons Women’s Association, a youth football clinic on a military base and a Salute to Service high school game.

Baltimore Ravens

There will be a number of military elements at the Ravens STS game on Nov. 6, including a Presidential Battery Salute at a gate outside of the stadium and a pregame ceremony that recognizes five military branch stars held by five service members from each respective branch. Five service members, one from each branch, will run an American flag out of the tunnel before the team player introductions and Sgt. Joey Odoms from the National Guard will sing the national anthem. There will be a flyover by two A-10s from the Maryland Air National Guard and a field-sized American flag will be held by 70 Maryland National Guard soldiers. As with all home games, a Hometown Hero (active/retired service member) will deliver the game ball to the referee at the coin toss, and the Seats for Service program will honor five service members for their service and acknowledge a POW/MIA during the game. Additionally, the U.S. Army Silent Drill team will perform at halftime. The team will host a military caravan on Nov. 14, which will stop at Andrews Air Force Base to visit with active duty and civilian military members and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to visit with Wounded Warriors.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills will honor each branch of the military at their STS game on Nov. 27. Service members from all branches of service will take the field for pregame ceremonies, including the unfurling of a field-sized flag and a tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. During the third quarter break, the Bills will recognize a soldier on-field for a Military Recognition Ceremony presented by BENRUS.

Carolina Panthers

At their STS game on Nov. 13, the Panthers will partner with the USO of North Carolina and the Tragic Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to honor the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice during current conflicts (2001-present). The team will honor fallen servicemen and women by wearing their initials on player helmets. Each of the 46 active players will be assigned the initials of a fallen service member. During the game, the Panthers will recognize Vietnam veterans, all Purple Heart Recipients, in the team’s Row of Honor seating section as part of the Vietnam War 50th Commemoration. The Panthers Operation Game Day program will feature troops leading the team onto the field, who will also serve as guest captains for the coin toss. In the week leading up to the STS game, the Panthers will host a high school Salute to Service game in Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of Fort Bragg, the largest U.S. military installation. Seventy-First High School will host E.E. Smith High School during a night that will include a flyover, 3000 American flags, Panthers Salute to Service field assets, a military national anthem singer, honorary military coin toss captains and each team wearing digital camo jerseys. All of the military personnel participating in the game will be family members from the Seventy-First High School football team. During the week, the Panthers will host Pro vs. GI Joe events, in which troops will compete against Panthers players in a video game competition; host WWII and Vietnam veterans at a Veterans Coffee event at Bank of America Stadium in partnership with American Airlines; and thank locally-stationed troops with Panthers staff, mascot Sir Purr and the TopCats. The Panthers will also host children of active duty military for a PLAY 60 camp at the team’s practice fields and participate in a military non-profit sponsored event on Veterans Day at Memorial Stadium.

Chicago Bears

At their STS game on Nov. 27, the Bears will have military members lead the team onto the field during team introductions, present the colors, sing the national anthem, hold a large American flag during the national anthem, and host a re-enlistment ceremony at halftime. During the week leading up to the STS game, the Bears will host a community event at a local veteran’s hospital and partner with MillerCoors and Jewel-Osco for a turkey giveaway for military service members and their families.

Cincinnati Bengals

At the Bengals STS game on Nov. 20, Ohio National Guard members will serve as the honor guard for the game and active-duty military and veterans will unfurl a field-sized flag pregame. Bose will donate headphones to the participating service members.

Cleveland Browns

At the Browns STS game on Nov. 6, team captains will be joined by a military representative who will serve as the honorary First and Ten Coin Toss Captain of the game. The Browns will honor members of the United States Army during the Honor Row presentation, a designated moment at each home game for the team and fans to embrace and extend support to military representatives. T Joe Thomas and TE Gary Barnidge will host military representatives and their families through an exclusive game day ticket opportunity. The Browns will recognize the USO of Northern Ohio as a community partner of the First and Ten movement. On Nov. 1, the Browns kicked off STS activities with a First and Ten Tuesday visit with players and military personnel. The Browns and Oswald Company will volunteer to support Wags 4 Warriors, a local grassroots organization which supports veterans with service dog training and placement. On Nov. 10, recognized as the U.S. Marine Corps birthday, the Browns will host and welcome members of the U.S. Marine Corps at the team's training facility for their official Marine Combat Test. The Browns will also extend support for Cleveland’s Veterans Day parade to honor and recognize local veterans.

Dallas Cowboys

At their STS game, the Cowboys will salute servicemen and women from all five branches of the military through special Salute to Service signage and gear on the field and through special flag, national anthem, pregame and halftime presentations. During summer training camp in Oxnard, California, the Cowboys provide military families of nearby naval bases and military installations – notably the Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu — special opportunities to interact with the team, including a private meet-and-greet event with base personnel as the team’s plane arrives for camp. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders have participated in USO visits to troops stationed overseas in more than 200 locations since their first tour on Christmas Day 1979.

Denver Broncos

Prior to the team’s STS game on Nov. 27, USAA will host a reception for over 200 military guests and a special USAA Challenge Coin will be used for the coin toss. During halftime, various branches of the military will be honored on-field, receiving a game ball from a Broncos alumnus. On Nov. 2, the Broncos kicked off Salute to Service activities by hosting a private, advance screening of “Hacksaw Ridge” for 100 military personnel and their guests from Buckley Air Force Base. On Nov. 8, the Vietnam War Commemoration will recognize the Denver Broncos for their continuous support of Vietnam Veterans with a special ceremony at UCHealth Training Center, where MG Peter Aylward from the Vietnam War Commemoration and commanders from local bases will present Broncos CEO & President Joe Ellis with an award of recognition. On that day, the Broncos will also host a Gatorade Jr. Training Camp/PLAY 60 Clinic on-base at Fort Carson for children of servicemen and women. On Nov. 10, wives of the coaching staff will host a lunch for various service members at the UCHealth Training Center. Following lunch, the military members will be invited to watch the team’s practice and meet with players and coaches. For the fifth year in a row, the Broncos Military Caravan tour will visit Fort Carson in Colorado Springs to visit with military members. Earlier this season, the Broncos hosted the NFL Boot Camp, presented by USAA, where current military members competed in NFL-style drills.

Detroit Lions

The Lions will honor more than 150 active military and veterans at their STS game on Nov. 20. Active military and veterans will welcome players to the field and hold the American flag on the field during the national anthem, which will be performed by a National Guard Air Force member. Continuing the Lions Hometown Heroes tradition, one member of each military branch will be honored throughout the game. Various thank-you messages from active and retired Lions players will be displayed on the video board throughout the game. During their Salute to Service week, Lions players will host active duty military members at Ford Field for a competitive Madden tournament with the non-profit organization, Pros vs. GI Joes. Lions players, cheerleaders, and mascot Roary will pay a visit to Selfridge Air National Guard base to host a Lions pep rally for active duty military members and their families.

Green Bay Packers

Military veterans will hold the American flag on the field during the national anthem at the Packers STS game on Nov. 6. The anthem will conclude with a flyover courtesy of the United States Air Force. During the game, there will be several video shout-outs from Wisconsin-native men and women of our armed forces now overseas. The American Red Cross will also be on hand in the Lambeau Field atrium constructing Holiday Mail for Heroes, where fans can sign cards for troops overseas and veterans. The Packers will also team with the 4th H.O.O.A.H. Wisconsin for their Operation Cold Snap. Through the NFL Foundation Salute to Service Team Program Grant, the Packers will contribute to help several veterans in Wisconsin to fix or completely replace furnaces in their homes.

Houston Texans

The Texans STS game took place on Oct. 30, where William H. McRaven, retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral, led the team out of the tunnel as the Homefield Advantage Captain. Service members representing all five branches of the military held a U.S.-shaped flag on-field and presented the colors. The U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus sang the national anthem, while Challenger, the free-flying American bald eagle, soared through the air. At halftime, the U.S. Air Force Band of the West performed, while Texans season ticket members held banners in the end zone to salute troops. During Salute to Service week, the Texans will host two military appreciation events with the USO, Wounded Warrior Project, and Lone Star Veterans Association. On Nov. 8, the Texans will host Tees, Texans and Troops where active-duty service members, veterans and their families will hit the greens at Top Golf with the Lady Texans, Texans Ambassadors and Texans Cheerleaders. On Nov. 10, the Lady Texans will serve a barbecue lunch for 200 service members and veterans at NRG Stadium. Following lunch, guests will attend a private Texans practice and meet players.

Indianapolis Colts

At their STS game on Nov. 20, the Colts will host a camo ribbon pass out, in partnership with CBS4, outside the stadium gates; team up with the American Red Cross and ATI Physical Therapy to allow fans to sign holiday cards for troops; and recognize 100 family members of fallen soldiers pregame. In addition, the bald eagle, Challenger, will be a part of the national anthem, performed by a military trumpeter, while more than 200 men and women from all branches of the military hold a field-sized flag. Members of the Armed Forces will join Colts players in the tunnel for team introductions. Colts Cheerleaders and mascot, Blue, will be in camo gear.

Jacksonville Jaguars

At their STS game on Nov. 13, servicemen and women will hold a field-sized flag while a member of the military performs the national anthem. A joint active duty color guard and veteran color guard will be presenting the colors, with a United States Air Force flyover at the end of the anthem. Throughout the game, the Jaguars will honor a “Hometown Hero,” “Veteran of the Game,” “4th Quarter Bell Ringer” and local Wounded Warriors. At halftime, the team will hold a ceremony for 300 people enlisting into all five branches. Afterwards, the military band will perform “God Bless America.” During Salute to Service week leading up to the game, the Jaguars will host an event each day in honor of the military community. These events will include a Jaguars-themed float in the local Veterans Day Parade. More than 3,000 tickets will be donated to military groups in the Jacksonville community.

Kansas City Chiefs

Fans attending the Chiefs STS game on Nov. 6 will see military displays outside Arrowhead Stadium spotlighted by a Bradley Fighting Vehicle and various other military vehicles, in addition to a display of Joint Tactical Air Controllers from the Air Force. Several military leadership representatives from throughout Chiefs Kingdom, including Offutt AFB, Ft. Leavenworth, Ft. Leonard Wood, Ft. Riley, the Marine Corps Recruiting Command and Whiteman AFB, will attend pregame festivities. Local soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guards will lead the Chiefs players onto the field during pregame introductions. The Joint Forces Color Guard, representing STRATCOM, will present the colors while Airman First Class Creston Awari (from McConnell AFB) performs the national anthem. A field-sized American flag will be held during that time by nearly 200 representatives from all five military branches as the 442nd Fighter Wing has its A-10’s will perform a stadium flyover. During the game, combat veterans representing World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom will also be recognized, while a Gold Star family member will receive a scholarship from Grantham University. Halftime will feature a performance by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon. On Nov. 29, the Chiefs Community Caring Team, which includes the team’s running backs, Chiefs Cheerleaders and team mascot KC Wolf, will make its annual goodwill visit to Ft. Leavenworth for a PLAY 60 clinic and exclusive autograph session at the oldest active United States Army post west of Washington, D.C.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are partnering with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to honor and recognize fallen service men and women at their STS game on Nov. 6. The program will pay tribute to the men and women with a family or military connection to Los Angeles and the surrounding area, who died while serving in the armed forces or from injuries sustained while serving in the post-9/11 era. The Rams will host the families at a practice prior to the STS game where they will have the opportunity to meet the player, who will be wearing their family members’ initials on their helmet during the Nov. 6 game. The families will then be guests of the Rams at the game and be recognized as they light the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum torch during a pregame ceremony. The Rams coin toss captain will be 96-year-old Lt. Col. Robert Friend, a Tuskegee Airman Red Tail Pilot. The Rams will also recognize Army Spec. John Baca, who received the medal of honor for his actions during the Vietnam War. During the on-field Soldier Salute, he will be pinned with a 50th anniversary Vietnam pin. Another 60 Vietnam vets will be attending the game as guests of the Rams and will be pinned during a ceremony prior to the game.

Miami Dolphins

On Nov. 6, the Dolphins STS game will feature an AARP Foundation Military tailgate with military and Marine activation zones on the plaza. A retired sailor will sing the national anthem which will be concluded with a flyover. All five branches of the military will swear in new recruits and veterans from Live to Tell will be invited to attend the game. Fans who attend the STS game can create holiday cards for heroes with the American Red Cross. In the week leading up to their STS game, the Dolphins will visit Guantanamo Bay with cheerleaders, alumni, the mascot, and Dolphins executives.

Minnesota Vikings

On Nov. 8, the Vikings will visit the VA Hospital in the morning with current players and play bingo at the Veterans Home in the afternoon with alumni players.

New England Patriots

At their STS game on Nov. 13, the Patriots will feature various military tributes, including active duty military and veterans who served in different conflicts dating back to World War II. More than 100 active duty military members and veterans from all five branches of service will be a part of pregame ceremonies, holding an American flag that covers the entire field during the national anthem.

New Orleans Saints

At their STS game on Nov. 13, the Saints will recognize military members in a variety of ways including recognizing an honorary military captain; Victory Belles of the World War II Museum will perform the national anthem; a Louisiana Joint Services swear-in ceremony will take place; Joint Color Guards will present the colors prior to kickoff; and a military tribute will take place at halftime. The team will host military members and volunteers of the Louisiana Heroes Project, as well as members of Volunteers of America’s Military Division, who will also serve as gameday giveaway crew volunteers. The Saints will participate in the American Red Cross’ Holiday Mail for Heroes program and all gameday credentials will reflect a camouflage design. During Salute to Service week, the Saints will participate in the Belle Chasse Military Base’s Family Sporting Event and will also take part in a Pros vs. G.I. Joes gaming event at the team’s facility with Saints players and students of the New Orleans Military & Maritime Academy.

New York Giants

The Giants will honor many season ticket holders who have served in the military at their STS game on Nov. 6. The Navy Band will perform at halftime and all branches of the military will be represented during the day’s ceremonies. The Giants are partnering with Chase to present a wounded service member with a mortgage-free home at the game. The Giants kicked off their Salute to Service efforts by hosting several Wounded Warriors at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Nov. 1 in partnership with the non-profit Pros vs. GI Joes. Giants players competed in friendly video game competitions against the veterans.

New York Jets

At the Jets STS game on Nov. 13, there will be a pregame Enlistment Ceremony of 50 service members and the U.S. Army Black Knights jump team will parachute into the stadium. There will be a pregame performance by the U.S. Naval Women’s Glee Club and the Honorary Captains of the game will be high-ranking military members. Flag bearers from all branches of the military will hold the American flag for the national anthem as servicemen and women will be on-field. The West Point Band will perform during halftime. Troops that played in the Green and White scrimmage in Afghanistan in August will attend the STS game and will present Owner Woody Johnson with a signed football from all players in that scrimmage. The Jets will host a walk-through practice on Dec. 4 for 75 military members and 75 first responders.

Oakland Raiders

At their STS game on Nov. 6, the Raiders Foundation is selling special edition “Honor” military shirts and caps, with proceeds going to community programs that support the families of fallen military heroes. The Raiders Foundation will also provide $5,000 to support the Coast Guard Foundation and their efforts to provide financial support for troops looking to pursue higher education. The Raiders will invite youth and their families from Camp Parks Army Instillation in Dublin, CA to take part in their First & Goal program, which recognizes youth for their hard work, dedication to excel in academics and the positive impact they’re making in the community. During Salute to Service week, Raiders players will make a surprise visit to Base Alameda on Coast Guard Island to serve lunch to and interact with military troops.

Philadelphia Eagles

At their STS game on Nov. 13, the Eagles will host a pregame ceremony unveiling a permanent MIA POW Chair of Honor in Head House Plaza. A field-sized flag will be unfurled by members of all military branches during the national anthem which will be performed by the U.S. Army Band Choir. Military members will watch the STS game from the field bleachers. There will be a halftime performance by the USMC Silent Drill Team.

Pittsburgh Steelers

At their STS game on Nov. 13, the Steelers will honor a veteran from each of the wars going back to World War II. The U.S. Air Force Parachute Team, Wings of Blue, will be jumping the game ball into the stadium. The national anthem will be sung by an active member of the Air Force. Former Steeler and Vietnam Veteran Rocky Bleier will be on hand to meet with fans in the Ford Fan Zone. The Terrible Towel Unfurl will include members from all branches of the military. The Terrible Towel Twirl will be done by local military personnel and will be led by former Steeler and Army Lieutenant Andy Russell. Halftime will include a military challenge, where all five branches will compete to win a financial donation to the charity of their choice. The Steelers will also honor a veteran from the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the ATI Hero for the Game will be awarded a service dog by the Steelers through Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs. The Red Cross will be on-site with their Holiday Mail for Heroes program for fans to send holiday cards to servicemen and women. The 50/50 raffle proceeds will benefit military charities. On Nov. 1, the Steelers kicked off their STS activities with a visit to the Pennsylvania Air National Guard’s 171st Air Refueling Wing, along with USAA, to honor local service members.

San Diego Chargers

At the Chargers STS game on Nov. 13, the pregame ceremonies will feature an Ex-Navy Seals Parachute Team jumping into the stadium followed by a special performance by the Marine Corps Band from the 3rd MAW. The team will host three USAA Salute to Service moments – the first will honor a military family on the field, the second will present a special video tribute of the activities the Chargers and USAA have done with the military this past year, and finally, anyone who is currently, or has ever served our country, will be asked to stand and be recognized. For the national anthem, 130 service members from the Army, Navy and Marines will unfurl a special American flag and camo ribbon, and the anthem will conclude with a flyover by the United States Air Force. An official USAA coin will be used for the coin toss and the team will then coin a retired member of the military. During halftime, the team will host a special re-enlistment ceremony for 100 service members followed by a presentation of an autographed football to a representative from each of the five military branches. Other STS events have included a visit with players to North Island Naval Air Station in Coronado on Nov. 1 and a series of PLAY 60 camps for military children on a base at MCRD on Sept. 8, Naval Base San Diego on Sept. 15 and MCAS Miramar on Sept 29. The Chargers players will visit the Naval Medical Base San Diego on Nov. 8.

San Francisco 49ers

At their STS game on Nov. 6, the 49ers will host 150 military personnel from the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy to present the field-sized American flag during the national anthem, while Harrier jets from nearby Moffett Air Force Base will perform the flyover to culminate the national anthem. Halftime will feature a celebration to honor the Marine Corps 100 years of service to the San Francisco Bay Area and seven pre-recorded messages from 49ers fans from various military bases around the world will be played throughout the game. Additionally, the 49ers Museum presented by Sony will open an exhibit focusing on the military experience of 49ers players, coaches, and executives and explore how their football careers were interrupted, delayed or even initiated by their time in the service. Throughout the year, the 49ers take part in visiting with servicemen and women, military enlistments at Levi’s® Stadium, hosting wounded veterans, and providing military fan packs to 49ers soldiers throughout the world.

Seattle Seahawks

At the Seahawks STS game on Nov. 7, Special Forces Staff Sergeant Jonathan A. McLaughlin, representing the First Special Forces Group, will lead the team out of the tunnel carrying a U.S. flag. Retired Petty Officer First Class General Wilson will sing the national anthem. The Washington Army National Guard will conduct a flyover with two Black Hawk helicopters. Former Green Beret Special Forces member and NFL player Nate Boyer, will raise the 12 Flag prior to kickoff. During halftime, the team will recognize Segs4Vets, a non-profit organization that provides mobility devices to severely injured service members from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in partnership with USAA, the Buccaneers’ Official Military Appreciation Sponsor, will host their STS game on Nov. 13. During pregame, the Buccaneers will pay tribute to a particular serviceman or woman from one of the five major military branches as the “Hero of the Game.” During the game, the Buccaneers will host and honor the H. Norman Schwarzkopf Military Family of the Year award winners in the Salute to Service Suite, and Buccaneers players will provide hundreds of tickets to military members through the “Front Row Fans” program. On Nov. 8, Buccaneers players, cheerleaders and the team mascot will visit MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida to learn about what military members do on a daily basis, as well as surprise different groups on-base.

Tennessee Titans

At their STS game on Nov. 13, Titans fans will enjoy a performance by Darryl Worley of his hit song and 9/11 tribute “Have You Forgotten.” Before the game, soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division will roll out a field-sized flag in the shape of the United States of America, followed by a military flyover. At halftime, color guards from every branch of the military will perform “Salute to Our Military” alongside season ticket members who have served in the armed forces. Throughout the tribute, the 101st Airborne Division Band will play each service song.

Washington Redskins

The Redskins will host their STS game, presented by USAA, on Nov. 20. The Redskins Salute, the Official Military Appreciation Club of the Washington Redskins, and the Redskins Charitable Foundation have teamed up to host Salute to Service week leading up to the game. Each day will feature a different event to serve the military community, including a Play 60 clinic at Marine Corps Base Quantico, a luncheon at the USO Warrior and Family Center in Bethesda, Maryland, a student letter-writing workshop to troops stationed overseas, and a Pros vs. G.I. Joes gaming tournament at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

 

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