COVID-19 has brought exceptional challenges to the military community that underscore the importance of supporting service members and veterans more than ever. As part of “Salute to Service,” the National Football League (NFL) today announced its expanded plans to honor, empower and connect our nation’s service members, veterans and their families.
Since 2011, this effort has raised more than $44 million for military and veteran support organizations such as the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF), Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF), Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), United Service Organizations (USO) and Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP).
During NFL Weeks 9–11, all 32 clubs will honor and show their gratitude for the military community throughout November with a series of events and virtual activations. On-field Salute to Service comes to life with a mix of stencils; camouflage-themed game balls; helmet decals; as well as gear from Gatorade, New Era and Nike – some of which will be auctioned at NFL.com/Auction. Additionally, custom merchandise will be available at NFLShop.com and in select stadium retail stores.*
“Our nation’s heroes are not immune to the significant perils brought on by this pandemic.” said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. “Many service members and their families are physically divided — either because of COVID-19 or due to their military deployment. This Veterans Day – and throughout Salute to Service – we express our gratitude to veterans and active service members for helping to preserve our health and safety, and for protecting and defending our freedoms domestically and abroad. The NFL and our 32 clubs humbly salute and thank you for your service to our country.”
Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback CARSON WENTZ, and NFL Legends PEYTON MANNING AND EMMITT SMITH are featured in TV spots that will air across network partners throughout Salute to Service. Click here to view the Week 9 spot. Additionally, virtual experiences and ‘surprise and delight’ moments – from active player and Legend videocalls, to jersey giveaways, to secret Madden matchups will come to life over the next few weeks.
Official NFL partners will join the NFL in recognizing and supporting our nation’s service members through a series of projects and compelling ways for fans get involved.
USAA has created the USAA Salute to Service Sweepstakes for a chance to win the Ultimate Fan Cave (open through November 30, 2020 at SaluteToService.com) as well as the USAA Salute to Service Virtual Lounge, which features a series of interactive chalk-talks with NFL players from around the league.
In addition, the NFL and USAA will again honor a deserving member of the NFL community with the annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. The award recognizes NFL players, alumni, coaches, owners, and front office staff who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community.
Rocket Mortgagewill donate $1,000 toward the fight to end veteran homelessness for every touchdown scored during the month of November. Rocket Mortgage is proud to be a leading supporter of the national movement to end veteran homelessness. For more information on Rocket Mortgage’s “Six for Service,” visit RocketMortgageSixForService.com.
NFL Military Nonprofit Partners:
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) – The NFL partners with TAPS to fund programs that support the families of fallen military service members. Thousands of survivors can access youth and mentor programs and services to support all those grieving the loss of a military loved one. Through the partnership, more than 5,000 survivors who are part of TAPS have been able to participate in NFL events and honor their fallen loved one(s).
The Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) – To help honor leaders who exemplify Pat Tillman’s enduring legacy of service, the NFL partners with the Pat Tillman Foundation, providing more than $20 million in academic scholarships and lifelong leadership development for nearly 700 Tillman Scholars.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) – The NFL partners with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) to provide over 185,000 wounded veterans and family support members access to free programs and resources in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care.
Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) – In 2019, the NFL and the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) established an $8 million, three-year partnership designed to optimize the positive impact that the NFL and its 32 clubs have on the veteran community by leveraging BWF’s. To date, BWF has investedover $5 million in 33 best-in-class organizations supporting post-9/11 veterans and their families through NFL-BWF Healthy Lifestyles and Creating Communities grants. Merging Vets and Players (MVP), which received its second NFL-BWF grant in May. matches combat veterans with former professional athletes – after the uniform comes off – to give them a new team to tackle the transition together.
United Service Organizations (USO) – The NFL and USO have renewed their partnership for the 2020-2021 season. This builds upon more than 50 years of partnership and carries the USO into its 80th year of service. Leveraging American football as the cornerstone of the partnership, the USO and NFL will honor, empower and connect service members and military families. Through support of USO center expansions, the NFL will help to deliver sports and entertainment to troops located in some of the most remote areas of the world. The NFL will also bolster the Mobile USO fleet by adding a state-of-the-art Mobile Gaming Center, to meet the growing demands of esports within the military community and to enhance the USO’s mission delivery capabilities beyond its brick-and-mortar locations.
For more information on Salute to Service, visit NFL.com/Salute.
*The NFL does not profit from the sale of Salute to Service products. All charitable contributions are donated to the NFL’s Salute to Service charitable partners.
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Jordyn White, NFL; COURTESY NFLmedia.com