The NFL and USAA awarded Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Andre Roberts with the 2017 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. The award acknowledges the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support members of the military community.
Roberts, whose parents served in the U.S. Army, is widely engaged in military appreciation events with the Falcons. He will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air on Feb. 3, the eve of Super Bowl LII, at 9 PM on NBC.
USAA, a leading provider of insurance and other services to U.S. military members, veterans and their families, will contribute $25,000 in Roberts’ honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches.
"Andre's support of the military community is authentic, genuine and greatly appreciated. Having grown up the son of two Army members, he knows the sacrifices military members and their families make," said Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Bird, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. "Giving back to those who are willing to give all makes Andre a well-deserving recipient of this award."
Roberts' passion for the military stems from his parents serving in the U.S. Army. He has participated in military appreciation activities with his NFL teams, and, in his short time with the Falcons, Roberts has visited local VA hospitals, spent a day fishing with veterans at “Fishing with the Falcons” and selected the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) as his organization for My Cause, My Cleats.
His coach, Dan Quinn, was the 2016 recipient of the Salute to Service Award.
“True heroism is measured by a person's willingness to sacrifice themselves for the safety and freedom of others,” said Roberts. “The men and women of the U.S. Armed Services are the greatest collection of heroes in our world today. I'm honored to salute their service and I'm forever grateful for the military heritage of my mother and father, both Army veterans, as well as the values of service to country and fellow man I received at the Citadel. May God bless the brave men, women, and families of the U.S. military who have sacrificed so much for our great country."
Roberts' off-season travel schedule includes visits to military bases across the nation, and he volunteers his time to camps for youth in grades 1-8. Roberts has hosted camps at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Luke Air Force base in Arizona, Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Fort Lee II in Richmond, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Joint Base in South Carolina, Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, Yankee Stadium in New York, Fort Jackson in South Carolina, Fort Benning in Georgia and Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
In October 2017, all NFL clubs nominated a coach, active or retired player, or team executive or employee who best demonstrated support for the military community. The nominees, announced in November, were evaluated by a panel of judges.
Nominees are evaluated based on the effect of the individual's efforts in the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program and their level of commitment.
The panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the U.S. military, the NFL and USAA, includes:
|Previous Salute to Service Award Winners|
|2015||Vincent Jackson||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|2014||Jared Allen||Chicago Bears|
|2012||Charles Tillman||Chicago Bears|
|2011||K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr.