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NFL recognizes Veterans Day and honors military with a Salute to Service

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® (WWP).

The Salute to Service campaign, which began during the Kansas City Chiefs-San Diego Chargers game on NFL Network, 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. 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.

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 (nfl.com/auction), with 100 percent of net proceeds donated to the league's three core military non profit partners.

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. Last year, Tennessee Titans Owner, K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr. was the inaugural winner of the award. Adams, a veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving during World War II has been a longstanding advocate of all servicemen and women. This year's nominees will be announced later this month. USAA is a leading provider of insurance and other services to members of the U.S. military and their families.

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.

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 Nov. 18.

All fans will be able to visit www.usaa.com/nfl to download photos to share with and thank veterans and service members. In addition, USAA and the NFL encourage fans to visit www.millionfansalute.com to create a digital salute honoring past and present members of the U.S. military on behalf of their favorite NFL team through Nov. 26, 2012. Saluting is as simple as a few clicks, and 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.

Sergeant Emily Thompson Schelberg of Towson, Maryland has been selected as the 2012 NFL-Tillman Military Scholar. She will be recognized in November at a Baltimore Ravens game. Thompson Schelberg is currently pursuing a master's degree in nursing at Johns Hopkins University with the goal of becoming a nurse practitioner, with an emphasis in orthopedics. Thompson Schelberg plans to serve underprivileged communities.

The Salute to Service campaign aligns with the NFL's long history of supporting America's armed services, including a partnership of more than 45 years with the USO that includes overseas visits to troops and trips to military hospitals nationwide. The USO will use funds raised from Salute to Service to support Operation Enduring Care, the USO's campaign to support wounded, ill and injured troops, their families and caregivers throughout the rehabilitation process. The centerpieces of Operation Enduring Care are two new USO Warrior and Family Care Centers at Fort Belvoir in Virginia and at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland.

The NFL also works closely with WWP, a non-profit organization with a mission to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Funds raised through the league's donation will benefit WWP's 18 programs and services which are uniquely structured to nurture the mind and body, and economic empowerment and engagement. Tens of thousands of Wounded Warriors and caregivers receive support each year through WWP programs. WWP assists injured service members across the country and has offices in 13 cities, including New York; Chicago; San Diego; Jacksonville; Washington, DC; Phoenix; Nashville, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Seattle.

In addition, as part of a recently announced joint health and wellness initiative with the Army, the NFL will join the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks to host forums with the military on concussion/traumatic brain injury (TBI). The NFL and Army are working together to promote culture change in both organizations regarding the identification and treatment of head injuries. The NFL's work with the military extends to the area of health and safety in other ways. Members of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Committee are collaborating with Department of Defense physicians on medical research and helmet technologies aimed at protecting both athletes and service members from head injury.

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, including the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants Vocal Quartet in San Diego on, the Navy Band Southeast in Jacksonville and the West Point Glee Club in Chicago.

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.

Teams will honor veterans and the armed services with the following pregame and in-stadium initiatives:

Arizona Cardinals -- The CardinalsSalute to Service game will be held on December 16. Arizona State University's Army ROTC Color Guard will present our nation's colors, while a field size flag will be unfurled during the Anthem by 120 local military members from the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force. A ceremony inducting Charley Trippi into the Cardinals Ring of Honor will take place at halftime. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1968, Trippi's collegiate career was interrupted by World War II. The Cardinals, along with partner Sanderson Ford, will continue hosting returning military personnel and their families at each home game this season through the Seats for Soldiers program. Cardinals players will wear special stickers with the number 40 on them during the game, in memory of Pat Tillman.

Atlanta Falcons -- The FalconsSalute to Service game will take place on November 18. The National Anthem will be performed by deployed service personnel live via satellite from Afghanistan. A large American flag will be presented by 100 Georgia Army National Guardsmen. During player introductions, the team will be led onto the field by active duty service personnel presenting American flags. All members of game presentation cast will wear Salute to Service themed apparel. The halftime ceremony will pay tribute to active duty military, veterans and Wounded Warriors and feature a thank you video, TAPS, a 21 gun salute, and all fans taking part in singing "America the Beautiful."

Baltimore Ravens -- The RavensSalute to Service game will take place on November 11. The game will include a special pre-game ceremony honoring veterans and wounded warriors from all major conflicts, a flyover by the MD Air National Guard (A-10s) and a live feed to MD National Guard troops in Afghanistan prior to kickoff. The Ravens will invite family members of those service members to watch the test taping on November 9. The Ravens will also honor Sergeant Emily Thompson Schelberg of Towson, MD, who has been selected as the 2012 NFL-Tillman Military Scholar. Baltimore's Marching Ravens will perform patriotic songs and Ravens cheerleaders will be sporting red, white and blue pom-poms.

Buffalo Bills -- The Bills will honor military members on field during a pregame ceremony in which 150 members of the National Guard - which also serves as the gameday sponsor - will unfurl a full-field flag. Pregame will also consist of a stadium-wide visual in which USAA will provide 50,000 seated fans with placards forming a thank-you message to the troops. The Guard will also participate in a live oath re-affirmation ceremony during halftime.

Carolina Panthers -- The Panthers will recognize veterans, host an on field Oath of Enlistment ceremony with live hook-up to troops in Afghanistan, which will be led by Brigadier General Thomas A. Gorry, commander of the Marine Corps Installations East. Pregame ceremonies will feature e a game day collection drive benefitting the USO of North Carolina, a four-ship formation flyover by the 159th Fighter Wing and invocator Chaplain Richard Bristol of the Eighth Marines. Air Force reservist Major Erin Karl will perform the National Anthem with a multiservice Color Guard. Service members will lead the team onto the field, deliver the game ball, participate in the coin toss and Purple Heart recipient, Staff Sergeant Williams, along with service dog "Carly", will be the special "Keep Pounding" participant. Halftime will include the 82nd Airborne Band, recognition of Purple Heart recipients and flyover pilots.

Chicago Bears -- At the BearsSalute to Service game on November 11, the West Point "Knight Caps" Glee Club will sing the Anthem, 100 members of the military from the various branches will hold the American flag, and another 100 will hold the 4th Phase Flag. A soldier will lead the Bears onto the field while carrying the American flag, and the team's honorary captains will be Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, and General Raymond E. Johns, Jr., 4-star general from the Air Force. Halftime will feature a Purple Heart presentation, a Medal of Valor presentation and re-enlistment ceremony. There will also be a video produced by Boeing, featuring Bears fans who sent in submissions honoring the military. A World War II veteran will be recognized during the Bears/Boeing Military Salute in the third quarter.

Cincinnati Bengals -- The Bengals and USAA Insurance hosted 100 members of the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the 371st Sustainment Brigade of the Ohio National Guard at practice on Friday, October 12. Guests were given a gift bag, watched practiced, and then had an opportunity to interact with the team. Members of the Brigades received tickets the Bengals military appreciation game on November 11. At the November 11 game, the Ohio National Guard will deliver the team mascot, Who Dey, to the game in a HumVee. The Adjutant General of Ohio will deliver the coin for the coin toss and preside over pre game ceremonies, including the Honor Guard and National Anthem. The Anthem will be sung by Captain Leslie Battle, and during the Anthem, National Guard members will hold a large American flag and fans will perform a card stunt. There will be several military-themed displays in the Jungle Zone, and members of the Ohio Air and Army National Guards will be honored at halftime.

Cleveland Browns -- As part of the Browns Hats Off to Our Heroes program, Trent Richardson and Alex Mack, were among several players who connected with military representatives overseas on October 30 through a unique video game opportunity made possible by Pros vs. GI Joe. Joining the players for the competition locally were individuals from each branch of the military and representatives from the USO of Northern Ohio. The November 4 game, will recognize volunteers and advocates of the Greater Cleveland Fisher House, who are committed to establishing a local place for those injured in battle to recover alongside their families. Each branch of the military will hold stars reflecting their branch of service, while Browns Season Ticket Holders who served the country will hold the American Flag as Chanel Curry, Army Specialist, performs the National Anthem. Marine Recruiting Station Cleveland will present the colors. The 180th Fighter Wing from Toledo will do a military flyover. War veterans will be recognized through the Hats Off to Our Heroes Honor Row tribute. Halftime will recognize the Sgt. Cory Endlich who was killed in action in 2007. His family will be presented with the Honor and Remember flag. Also during halftime, the 60th Anniversary of Korean War will be acknowledged with the presentation of the UN and US flags alongside Korean War Veterans.

Dallas Cowboys -- The Dallas Cowboys will honor military and veterans at their November 18 game at Cowboys Stadium. Recognition elements include: military apparatus and displays on stadium plazas; presentation of a joint Armed Services Color Guard; military members on field holding the field flag during the National Anthem; a halftime performance by the Navy's Mid-South Band featuring a muster and anthem from all five military branches; a pass out to entering fans from Cowboys partner USAA, along with a USAA-sponsored pregame tailgate reception with former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, NFL Hall of Famer and Navy veteran Roger Staubach for all attending military members. Congressional Medal of Honor recipients will join players on field as Honorary Captains.

Denver Broncos -- The Broncos' November 18 Salute to Service game 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.

Detroit Lions -- USAA will be the presenting sponsor of the Lions' Salute to Service game on November 18. USAA is providing 50,000 wristbands for fans to wear on their right wrist. Fans will be asked to place their hands over their heart during the National Anthem. All veterans of the military in attendance will be asked to stand and be recognized for their service. A Lions starting players will run out of the tunnel carrying the National Guard Region flag. As part of their USAA Salute to Service moment, the team will honor United States Air Force Captain Daniel Tennapel who recently returned home from overseas where he was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom. The Lions and USAA have invited three National Guard units (Bravo Company, Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 37th Brigade Combat Team, the 1st Battalion 125th Infantry and the 126th Cavalry Squadron) to view practice and interact with players on November 17. USAA will also provide those soldiers with suite tickets to the game on the 18th. Lions' defensive back Drayton Florence will also host ten wounded warriors as his guests for the game.

Green Bay Packers -- During the Packers' Nov. 4 game, members of the 157th Wisconsin National Guard will hold the flag during the National Anthem. The Packers will recognize two soldiers from the Wisconsin National Guard as recipients of the Wortham Award at halftime. A live Salute to Soldiers will stream to connect the crowd with soldiers overseas. The team is also The team is working with USAA for a stadium-wide card stunt during the Anthem.

Houston Texans -- Beginning October 29, the Texans hosted Salute to Service week presented by USAA. Events included a Stars & Strikes Bowling event for 100 troops from the 111th Fighter Squadron. Texans players, cheerleaders, Ambassadors and Lady Texans bowled with the unit. In addition, the Texans and Operation Finally Home joined forces to hand over the keys to a brand new mortgage-free home to Sara Wood, the widow of Marine Staff Sergeant Scott Wood. Chris Myers and Whitney Mercilus helped hand over the keys. The Texans and Operation Finally Home surprised Mrs. Wood and her son Landon with the news about their new home during a Texans game last season. Today, the Texans hosted a BBQ at Reliant Stadium for 150 troops from the USO, Wounded Warrior Project and LSVA. The Texans will host more than 400 military service members as guests at their Salute to Service game presented by Bud Light on November 4 . Groups from the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines will hold the American and Texas flag pre game, and the West Point Glee Club will sing the National Anthem while "Challenger," the free flying bald eagle, is released. The Texans Coin Toss Captains are President George H.W. Bush and former Secretary of State James Baker. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Mike Thornton, a member of the elite Navy Seals, will lead the team out of the tunnel prior to kickoff as the Home field Advantage Captain, and Navy Cross recipient Sgt. Christopher Farias and Silver Star recipient Navy Sgt. Joshua Laughery will be featured on the stadium video screens during the game. The Texans will highlight Operation Finally Home by showing Sara Wood, widow of Marine sergeant Scott Wood, and her new home during the game.

Indianapolis Colts -- At their November 4 game, the Colts will host a pre game camouflage ribbon pass-out for fans, and honor all branches of the military by including nearly 150 service members in a full-field flag presentation during the National Anthem, which will be sung by Indiana National Guardsman, Specialist Ronald Walker. Additionally, 150 youth and families of fallen soldiers will be recognized as the 12th Man Fans of the Game. The Colts have partnered with the American Red Cross in support of Holiday Mail for Heroes, and will give fans the opportunity to sign and send greetings to service men and woman overseas. On November 5, the Colts and Harrison College will work with local high school students to decorate 200 footballs and place them in care packages. The packages will then be delivered by students and players to veterans at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center.

Jacksonville Jaguars -- On November 6, the Jaguars will host a private practice for 1,200 Sailors from the USS Bataan. The team's annual military appreciation game will be held on November 8, with more than 7,000 tickets being donated to active, retired and reservist personnel. Outside the stadium, there will be military displays including a LUH-72 Lakota helicopter and a SH-60 Seahawk helicopter. During pre game, the team will recognize veterans that served during WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The team will be lead out of the tunnel by sailors and Marines from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. A moment of silence will be held, followed by a 21-gun salute conducted by the NAS Jacksonville Honor Support Team. The Anthem will be performed by the Navy Band Southeast. A field-sized American flag will be held by members of the Florida National Guard and 100 members of each branch will be on the field during the Anthem. The Colors will be presented by a Joint Color Guard and a Vietnam Veterans Color Guard. The flyover will be conducted by the HSM-40 'Airwolves' flying SH-60 Seahawks from Naval Station Mayport. The Secretary of the Navy and a two-time Purple Heart recipient will serve as Honorary Captains. At halftime, a large induction ceremony involving more than 200 recruits from all branches will take place, with the Oath being conducted by Army Brigadier General David MacEwan. Following the induction ceremony, Air National Guardsmen and former contestant on "The Voice", Angie Johnson, will perform God Bless America. During the game, more than 25 wounded warriors will be recognized on- field. The Boot Campaign, along with Military Warriors Support Foundation, will give away a mortgage-free home to a veteran. CPT Jack Mularkey, nephew of Head Coach Mike Mularkey and Platoon Leader of the 1st Ranger Battalion will ring the Jaguars Bell as the game enters the fourth quarter.

Kansas City Chiefs -- The Chiefs will host their annual military appreciation game, presented by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, on November 18. The team will host an U.S. Army Reenlistment Ceremony with 100 soldiers from Ft. Leavenworth, KS, prior to the start of the game. Armed Forces representatives, designated by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, will participate in the ceremonial pre-game first pass. VFW Commander In Chief John Hamilton will also serve as honorary captain during the coin toss. Retired four-star General Richard Myers (USAF), who is also being honored by the team as one of its top 50 Kansas Citians, will lead the Arrowhead Stadium faithful during the pregame drum ceremony. In addition, uniformed members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines will hold a large American flag on the field during the Anthem. The Colors will be presented by the Whiteman Air Force Base Honor Guard, and there will be a special performance of the Anthem. A-10 jets from Whiteman Air Force Base will be part of a flyover at the conclusion of the Anthem. Halftime will feature a military tribute performed by the University of Missouri Marching band. The Chiefs, VFW and Operation Homefront are also collaborating for a special in-game presentation. On November 6, the Chiefs Rookie Club, Chiefs Cheerleaders, K.C. Wolf and Senior VP Bill Chapin will be joined by VFW representatives for a good-will visit to Whiteman AFB. It will include a special PLAY 60 assembly at Whiteman Elementary and tour of the base's control tower and airfield.

Miami Dolphins -- The Dolphins will welcome the Fort Benning Army Band on field as they play the National Anthem during their November 11 game. The U.S. Air Force will provide halftime entertainment. Nearly 1,000 active, retired, and ROTC/JROTC members will participate. On November 6, Dolphins players and the Miami Dolphins Women's Organization will host 20 children from Miami Dade Elementary School whose parents are in the military on the Bluefoot Pirate Adventures Ship. On November 27, Dolphins players will renovate a military veteran's home, in partnership with Rebuilding Together.

Minnesota Vikings -- The VikingsSalute to Service presented by USAA on November 11 will include a joint services Color Guard during the National Anthem. Fans will also participate in a card stunt during the Anthem. In addition, soldiers will line the tunnel for team introductions, a soldier will lead the team from the tunnel carrying a 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls unit flag, and a riderless horse will cross the end zone during a moment of silence. An injured local soldier will serve as honorary captain for the coin toss. Elizabeth "Betty Wall" Strohfu, a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft, will serve as an Honorary Viking to sound the Gjallarhorn. Also as part of pregame activities, two segments of the world's largest thank you card will be displayed on field while other segments will be displayed on the concourse for fans to sign during the game. During halftime, the Minnesota National Guard 34th Infantry Division Red Bulls Band will perform patriotic tunes while 40 servicemen and women display a large American flag at midfield and we welcome home Minnesota National Guard soldiers from deployment. The Vikings will also make a check presentation to the Minnesotans Military Appreciation Fund during the game, and cheerleaders, team mascots and the drum line will wear military-themed attire for the second half. The game will include Soldier of the Game, Veteran of the Game and Hometown Hero recognitions. In the days preceding the game, the Vikings will host a number of local soldiers to attend a practice, in conjunction with USAA.

New England Patriots -- The Patriots will celebrate Veterans Day at their November 11 game. Veterans and active duty soldiers from each branch of the military and Coast Guard will join members of the Kraft family, Patriots alumni and Patriots cheerleaders to display a large American flag that will spread the entire length of the field in thanks and recognition of military members and their families. The game will feature a flyover from 439 Airlift Wing in Westover, MA, a Color Guard ceremony performed by the Army National Guard and national anthem sung by the 215th Army Band's Voices of Freedom. All service men and women will be asked to stand and be recognized during the game and messages from military members serving oversees will be played in-game on the video boards. Additionally, the Patriots will unveil a permanent black seat in the south end of Gillette Stadium that will be dedicated to the thousands of Patriots who remain unaccounted for as POW/MIA. Footage from a ceremony held earlier in the week will be aired during the game. The empty seat will serve as a permanent memorial to honor the brave men and women who served our country and to the sacrifices they made.

New Orleans Saints -- The Saints will hold their military appreciation game on November 11. The game's ticket design pays tribute to the Wounded Warrior Project®, and their organization will also be recognized during an on field presentation during the pre-game ceremony. The Saints worked with the American Red Cross to identify a New Orleans solider (currently stationed in Kuwait) who will surprise his family at a special on field reunion. The Saints will also participate in the ARC's Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Major General Curtis, Adjutant General for the Louisiana National Guard, will serve as the game's Honorary Military Captain. Other elements will include a Louisiana National Guard swear-in ceremony. Joint Color Guards will present the Colors prior to kickoff, and one hundred members (comprised twenty members of each branch of the military) will hold individual American flags for the Anthem, which will be sung by the Victory Belles trio of the World War II Museum while surrounded by military veterans. There will be a military tribute halftime performance by the University of South Alabama's marching band. Soldiers of the 177th Armored Brigade, and the 15th Infantry Brigade from Camp Shelby, MS will serve as giveaway crew volunteers and will receive tickets to the game. Local hometown heroes will receive tickets to the game as well.

New York Giants -- The Giants will welcome home Soldiers of the Fighting 69th, a NYC based Army National Guard Infantry Unit during their November 4 game. Military VIPs will represent the services during the coin toss. The Giants will present a check to Building Homes for Heroes, and JP Morgan Chase will present a home to a wounded warrior. The United States Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon will perform during the halftime show.

New York Jets -- The Jets will host their military appreciation game on December 2, during which they will honor service members with special pregame and halftime ceremonies.

Oakland Raiders -- The Raiders, along with USAA, will host and honor 60 graduates from Airmen Leadership Academy during their November 18 game. Airmen Leadership Academy and the 22nd Airlift Squadron will participate in a flag unfurling, and all service branches will participate in the Color Guard.

Philadelphia Eagles -- The EaglesSalute to Service game on Sunday, November 11, will begin by five military members leading the team onto the field while holding their branch's flag. Shortly thereafter, the National Anthem will be sung by Generald Wilson, a retired Navy officer, as current military members hold a full-field flag. Immediately afterward, there will be a flyover by four 416s. Honorary captains will be Captains in the military, and the alumni honoree for the game will be Chuck Bednarik, a retired Army Air Corps member. During the game, the Eagles will recognize members of the Semper Fi High School All-Star Game, feature a video tribute as a thank you to troops, and play numerous vignettes of player shout-outs. A U.S. Marines Silent Drill Team will perform during halftime.

Pittsburgh Steelers -- During the November 12 game, the Steelers will honor a veteran from every war, and recognize a local Harrier pilot who was shot down and killed last month over Afghanistan. The Steelers will also recognize their local military community by paying tribute to the service men and women of the 171st Air Refueling Wing. The team is partnering with USAA for a stadium-wide card stunt that features a special military appreciation message during the National Anthem. Fans will be instructed to hold up the card at their seats just before the National Anthem.

St. Louis Rams -- The Rams' military appreciation game, in conjunction with Boeing, USO of Missouri and USAA, will take place on November 18. During the game, the team will partner with the American Red Cross to take part in a Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. Rams fans will have the opportunity to honor and thank our servicemen and women by signing holiday cards at various signing stations throughout the Edward Jones Dome. In addition, the Rams will partner with Boeing to donate 1,500 tickets to the USO for military members and their families for the game. The National Anthem will be performed by retired U.S. Navy Petty officer Generald Wilson, and halftime will feature a performance from the Scott Air Force Marching Band. Rams defensive end, CHRIS LONG, will promote the effort with a PSA that will air throughout the stadium and during the game. In addition, the Rams will host military members, veterans and their families for a private practice at ContinuityX Training Center on November 16.

San Diego Chargers -- The Chargers' November 1 Salute to Service game, in conjunction with USAA, will feature a pregame Wounded Warriors recognition, presentation of colors by the U.S. Marine Corps, Army and Navy and an Air Force flyover. The National Anthem will be performed by an Air Force Quartet. A member of the First Marine Expeditionary Force will run out of the tunnel prior to player introductions with the unit flag, and the unit will be presented with a jersey during pregame. During halftime, the Chargers will honor service members from each branch of the military by presenting them with autographed footballs. Halftime will also feature a performance by the Marine Corps band.

San Francisco 49ers -- In appreciation of those who serve in the military, the 49ers will be including the following elements in their November 11 Military Appreciation-themed game: USAA serving as the game sponsor, pre-game canned food drive in cooperation with Second Harvest Food Bank to benefit families in need including veterans, swearing-in of new Army recruits and honoring of Wounded Warriors pre-game, unfurling of a giant American flag by service personnel, Anthem performed by Navy Counselor 1st Class Steven Powell, flyover of Navy F-18 jets, Salute to Service video board messaging throughout the game, a live tribute to veterans in attendance, a USAA "Salute to Service" card stunt during the game and a performance by the Army Silent Drill Team during halftime.

Seattle Seahawks -- The SeahawksSalute to Service game, in conjunction with USAA, will be on November 11. There will be a card stunt and flyover following the Anthem. A local soldier representing the Wounded Warriors will lead the team out of the tunnel. WWII veteran Joe Moser will raise the 12th Man Flag. Moser was a P-38 fighter pilot who was shot down during his 44th mission over France. He was imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald and scheduled to be executed. Joe's story is featured in an award winning documentary the 'Lost Airmen of Buchenwald' and in the book "A Fighter Pilot in Buchenwald."

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -- On November 4, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will present the Central Florida Military Resource Fair at Raymond James Stadium. The event, which is free to military, will offer a job fair with Federal, State and local employers, and interview skill development and resume assistance. On-site VA benefits and health care enrollment will also be available, as well as flu shots and medical screenings. On November 6, Buccaneers players and cheerleaders will dedicate a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fitness Zone presented by HESS Gridiron Giveback at Lanier Elementary, which is located near MacDill Air Force Base and serves students of many military families. Later, general manager Mark Dominik, along with Buccaneers rookies and USAA Volunteers will visit US Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater to serve lunch and spend time with 200 service members. The Buccaneers will also visit Bay Pines VA Hospital in St. Petersburg to greet servicemen and women recovering from injury and illness. On November 11, the Buccaneers will host their Salute to Service game in partnership with USAA. Game elements include the largest-ever group induction, performed by Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward and joined by Wounded Warriors from James A. Haley VA Hospital; Service members will participate in pre game elements and be seated in the Front Row Fans sections of the stadium. U.S. Special Operations Command Para-Commandos Team will jump the Game Ball into the stadium. The ball is returning from Afghanistan with a video message from General John R. Allen for the fans. Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland, Jr. will serve as Honorary Coin Toss Captain; A military flyover will be performed pre game; The Anthem will be sung by former Air Force Staff Sergeant, "The Voice" contestant Angie Johnson. The BuccaneersSalute to Service suite will treat members of each military branch to the game experience from a luxury suite. All fans will receive a special-edition Buccaneers military lapel pin upon entry; A collection drive will be held pre game to provide personal items to military through Support the Troops. The game will feature shout-outs from local soldiers, static military vehicle displays, and a USAA card stunt.

Tennessee Titans -- At their November 4 game, the Titans will recognize team owner K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr. for winning the inaugural Salute to Service Award, presented at NFL Honors awards show this past February. Pregame highlights include 100 soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell holding a large American flag in the shape of the United States, a Color Guard from the 101st Airborne division and a flyover of F-16's from the Alabama Air Guard. Half-time will feature the 101st Airborne Division Band, who will play the song from each branch of service while veterans attending the game stand to be recognized. A Color Guard from all five branches will march across the field as their branch song is being performed. A special Wounded Warrior salute will occur during the game along with many video "thank you" vignettes shown on the jumbotron throughout the game.

Washington Redskins -- The Redskins and USAA are teaming up to honor a military unit from the Air Force District at Washington during the team's Salute to Service game on November 18. During the game, the Redskins will celebrate members of each military branch on the field, as well as on the video boards, as part of the team's season-long "Operation Salute Our Troops" campaign. The Redskins and USAA are also inviting 50 members and a guest from a local Air Force unit to the game. General Spencer, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force, will also be in attendance and will be honored. During the game, Redskins fans will be encouraged to support the Wounded Warrior Project® via Twitter. An additional group of military service members from the Air Force District of Washington will be invited to watch a closed practice at Redskins Park in November.

About USAA: USAA provides insurance and more to 9.3 million members of the U.S. military and their families. USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving or have honorably served our nation in the U.S. military - and their families. For more information about USAA, or to learn more about membership, visit USAA.com.

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133rd Airlift Wing Welcomes home Security Forces Squadron members from deployment

Posted: 2014-10-16  09:34 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn.- Thirteen airmen from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing Security Forces Squadron are scheduled to return Friday to Minnesota following a four-month deployment to Southwest Asia.

"During this deployment, the 133rd airmen melded with their active duty counterparts and utilized their citizen-airmen experiences and training to help fight the war on terrorism in an overseas environment," said Col. Terrance Sieben, the security forces squadron commander.



MPD Sgt. Blackwell: 'We're human, we have hearts, we care about people'

Posted: 2014-10-15  08:42 AM
Minnesota National Guard MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.(KMSP)- Talking with Minneapolis police Sgt. Katie Blackwell, it's clear she truly cares about her job and the people who live and work in the first precinct.When a man was sexually assaulting women in Ramp C downtown last week Sgt. Blackwell took it personally, making his arrest a top priority. The suspect was in custody within 48 hours.

"We just won't tolerate predators walking through our city and our communities, so yeah, I took it pretty personally," Sgt. Blackwell said.

To understand why she cares so much, one has to know where she's coming from, and it's quite a story. She grew up one of 10 kids in northeast Minneapolis, something Sgt. Blackwell says helps her connect with her community.



National Public Land Day supports community project

Posted: 2014-10-14  01:46 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Little Falls High School students joined members of the Camp Ripley environmental team on Oct. 2, 2014, to assist with a forestry management project.

"We are always looking for projects outside the classroom," said Doug Ploof, agricultural sciences teacher at Little Falls High School. "Exposure to the kind of hands-on work done in this field is great education for these kids. Their enthusiasm to come on the Camp Ripley and work with people doing this everyday made the hard work well worth it."



Stop, Think, Connect: Navigating the Cyber World Safely

Posted: 2014-10-10  09:14 AM
Computer technicians ST. PAUL, Minn.-National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) is observed every October and was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.

The Minnesota National Guard is taking part in the awareness campaign, but it doesn't just stop there.

"Though it is cyber security awareness month, our approach is to provide outreach continuously," said Col. Stephanie Horvath, Chief Information Officer, Minnesota National Guard. "We are constantly focused on improving situational awareness on cyber security."



Five inducted into Court of Honor at Camp Ripley

Posted: 2014-10-05  01:48 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- Five former Service members received honors from the Minnesota National Guard Memorialization Board as they were inducted into the Court of Honor on Camp Ripley, Oct. 5., 2014.

"This truly is a great honor to be recognized in front of my family, my friends and those I served with," said Lt. Gen (Bvt.) Larry Shellito.

The Court of Honor commemorates the lasting contributions of Soldiers who have dedicated their lives to the service of the state and nation. Each year, the memorialization board reviews nominations on exemplary Soldiers. The best submissions are forwarded to the state headquarters of the Minnesota National Guard for final approval by the adjutant general.



Largest Minnesota National Guard subordinate command leads U.S. units in readiness

Posted: 2014-10-05  11:19 AM
Command Center BLOOMINGTON, Minn.- While 2014 is coming to a close, the Minnesota National Guard is looking to finalize the structural reorganizations that have been implemented over the past year.

As Col. Robert Intress, commander of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division put it, "We're on the precipice of a very big period of change."

Already the largest of the Minnesota Army National Guard's four major subordinate commands, the 1/34th ABCT has seen a new field artillery battery added to their 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery, as well as the addition of the 1st Battalion, 145th Armored Regiment out of Stowe, Ohio, which is aligned for training. The 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion was also converted into the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion, adding additional engineering capabilities to the unit.



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