The National Football League will continue its long history of honoring veterans and active-duty members of the military with its annual Salute to Service campaign. For every point scored during the NFL’s 32 designated Salute to Service games, the league will donate $100 to each of its three core, military non-profit partners – Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Salute to Service campaign, which began in Week 9, is designed to unify and elevate the extensive military appreciation work of the NFL and its clubs. Throughout November, teams will designate one home game to honor the military. Denver’s contest vs. San Diego on Sunday, Nov. 18 is the team’s dedicated Salute to Service game.
During these games, teams will display a number of Salute to Service-branded elements in stadiums, with the majority in and around the end zone in order to highlight the league’s new donation program tied to scoring. Branded elements include goal post wraps, pylons with camouflage ribbon decals, wall banners and the words Salute to Service written in the back of the end zone.
Denver’s game vs. San Diego is sponsored by USAA and OtterBox and is dedicated to our all of veterans and our U.S. Armed Forces serving throughout the world. Representatives from the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Wounded Warrior Heroes from Fort Carson will be recognized during a special halftime ceremony. Several other military guests will be honored throughout the game during coin toss, player introductions, Broncos Country Heroes Recognition and Salute to Service Recognition.
Additional on field elements featuring camouflage include ribbon lapel pins, Gatorade towels, Nike and Under Armour gloves for players, captain’s patches and camouflage ribbon footballs used during every play. Game used items will be collected following Salute to Service games and auctioned on NFL Auction, with 100% of net proceeds donated to the league’s three core military non profit partners. The game coins that will be used for the opening toss of the Broncos game against the Chargers are pictured above.
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, executives and front office staff who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community.
When all 32 teams take the field during the Salute to Service campaign, branches of the U.S. military will be represented on their helmets. Conceived by USAA, a new initiative will enable NFL teams to deepen their connection to the military community by identifying local military units from each branch of service to honor on game day. Teams will wear helmet decals honoring military branches with their insignia (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy), and the stories of connection between clubs and local units will be highlighted throughout the Salute to Service campaign in broadcast and online.
Here is a look at the decal on cornerback Champ Bailey’s helmet:
USAA will work with several teams during Veterans Day weekend to honor the men and women who have served and are serving in the U.S. military. Fans in select stadiums will participate in in-stadium card stunts to thank the military for their service. In addition, USAA and the NFL will hand out team-branded wristbands to fans at select games on November 18.
All fans will be able to visit www.millionfansalute.com to download photos to share with and thank veterans and service members. In addition, fans can create a digital salute honoring past and present members of the U.S. military on behalf of their favorite NFL team through November 26, 2012. The three cities with the most salutes will earn rewards for their local military community from USAA.
In 2010, the NFL and Pat Tillman Foundation established the NFL-Tillman Military Scholar award to annually honor an individual who exemplifies Pat’s enduring legacy of service. The scholarship is part of the Tillman Military Scholars program established by the Pat Tillman Foundation to support educational opportunities for veterans and active service members and their spouses.
The Tillman Military Scholars program covers direct study-related expenses such as tuition and books, as well as other basic needs such as housing and childcare. As a result of fundraising from this year’s Salute to Service campaign, the NFL’s annual support of the Tillman Military Scholars program will continue to grow and help young men and women to pursue their degree program of choice.
Additional Salute to Service moments will include recognition of all military personnel in attendance, on field ceremonies honoring service men and women and special pregame national Anthem renditions performed by military bands and choirs.
The NFL continues to offer its NFL Game Pass service free of charge at USO Centers for military members stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Germany, Italy, Korea and Japan. At the USO facility in each of these locations, service members can watch every NFL game live and online in its entirety. NFL Game Pass service also is offered free of charge at US Embassies.
Fans can find out more about the NFL’s commitment to the military and veterans by visiting www.nfl.com/salute. In addition, on the NFL’s Facebook page, fans can submit their photos in support of our military to be a part of the Salute to Service mosaic or give a virtual gift using the Salute to Service gifting app.