NFL's New Military Tribute Is Coming to Fans Just in Time

NFL Salute to ServiceBaseball may be America's favorite pastime, but the NFL pays tribute to the members of our military like no other professional sport. This month, football players are launching what will become an annual campaign dubbed Salute to Service. Appropriately, it will forever mark November, coinciding with the national observance of Veterans Day. I can't think of any sport better to do the honors.

Although former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman is best known for taking off his pads and giving his life for our country as an Army Ranger, the NFL has boasted more than 1,000 servicemen, from proud Marine and one-time NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Mike Anderson (now retired from the Denver Broncos) to New England Patriot Eric Kettani, who is currently on the reserve/military list as he serves on active duty in the United States Navy. An estimated 1,200 NFL players, coaches, and team owners have actually interrupted their time with the game to serve in the military.

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To add to that, the NFL released a list of players just last year with ties to the military that listed dozens more players and other staffers who have wives, fathers, brothers, mothers, grandfathers, and other relatives who have proudly served our country (and many are still doing so today). The ranks of the sport are so tied to our military that there's a 45-year history of the NFL working with the USO. Today USO facilities worldwide traditionally air every game so servicemen and women can keep up with their favorite team -- and the NFL provides that service free of charge.

But it's the fans outside the military that make the Salute to Service campaign so meaningful for military families. A Harris Interactive Poll earlier this year showed the NFL edges out every other professional sport in America in terms of the sheer number of fans, and has for nine years running. More fans means more attention for the cause. And when the cause is honoring the troops for their sacrifice, on an annual basis, it's hard not to cheer.

Americans who might otherwise have used their day off on Veterans Day to catch up on errands will get reminders everywhere they turn that this is a national holiday for good reason. We will get a chance to see Veterans Day services at games, have the military honored during Monday Night Football, and watch Wounded Warriors honored for their service. Check out the schedule of events at the NFL's Salute to Service campaign site to see how you can catch one of the tributes this month.

Are you glad to hear the NFL is stepping up for our military in time to make sure Veterans Day is marked with honor?


Image via NFL

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