The league has raised more than $50 million to support the military and veteran communities
This weekend the National Football League (NFL) will bring to life Salute to Service, the League's year-round effort to Honor, Empower and Connect with our nation's service members, veterans and their families. Salute to Service is highlighted during games in Weeks 9 – 11 and in other special events around the League, as fans and the NFL's 32 clubs demonstrate their gratitude for the sacrifices made by our military community.
Since 2011, this effort has raised more than $51 million for military and veteran support organizations - the NFL's Salute to Service Partners – which include the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Pat Tillman Foundation, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), United Service Organizations (USO) and Wounded Warrior Project®.
Salute to Service comes to life on-field with field stencils, banners, goal post wraps, game balls, helmet decals, and New Era and Nike gear. In addition, Salute to Service apparel is available for purchase at NFLShop.com and in stadium retail stores. 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 partners. Fans can bid on game worn jerseys and gear from Salute to Service games along with other memorabilia to raise money for the NFL's Salute to Service partners. For more information, visit NFL.com/Auction.
"We are able to play and our fans able to enjoy NFL football – largely due to the selfless service of our military heroes here at home and around the world," said NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL. "Salute to Service aims to shine a spotlight of gratitude on all those in our active-duty military, veterans and their families who sacrifice to keep us all safe. We are indebted to them all."
New Salute to Service Partnership Activations
On Nov. 4, the USO opened USO Lakenheath, the first center in the United Kingdom, which will support more than 22,000 military personnel stationed in the area. Funded in part by the NFL, USO Lakenheath will also conduct outreach with the Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall in Suffolk, England, which is home to the U.S. Air Force's 100th Air Refueling Wing. Located two and a half hours northeast of London, Lakenheath is home to the 48th Fighter Wing, with an additional 8,600 active-duty service members currently stationed throughout the United Kingdom. USO Lakenheath will provide a place for service members and military families to enjoy a variety of programs and services that help them relax, recharge and connect with family and friends around the world. The center includes Wi-Fi, TVs for movies, gaming, pool, ping pong tables, musical instruments, a full kitchen and more. The grand opening event included local military command leadership and J.D. Crouch II, USO CEO and President. After remarks and the ribbon cutting, service members and military families enjoyed a tour of the center, lunch and an NFL FLAG experience that included games and an appearance by Christian Scotland-Williamson, English professional rugby union player and former NFL tight end.
In 2019, Move United launched the first ever USA Wheelchair Football League for wounded veterans, with support from an NFL and Bob Woodruff Foundation Salute to Service grant. Move United worked with USA Football and experts in adaptive sports to create the rules and structure for the new wheelchair football league. The team designed the Wheelchair Football League to closely resemble NFL play-style with adaptations specifically chosen to keep the game fast paced and highly enjoyable for fans and players alike. In September and October, Move United hosted the first two tournaments for the Wheelchair Football League, with teams competing from Birmingham, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Phoenix, and Tampa – with the League looking to continue to expand. Each team has also engaged with the local club in their market and also wears their colors as well as helmets with the clubs logo on it.
It Takes All of Us
MARK ANDREWS (Baltimore Ravens), CALAIS CAMPBELL (Baltimore Ravens), JUSTIN FIELDS (Chicago Bears), BAKER MAYFIELD (Cleveland Browns), and KYLER MURRAY (Arizona Cardinals) will be featured in TV spots honoring veterans and service members who have benefitted from NFL Salute to Service funding of partners –TAPS and the Bob Woodruff Foundation. One spot will feature, Bart Salgado is a veteran who after two tours of duty, returned home and was injured at his civilian job. Now, through the NFL's partnership with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, he plays and coaches other veterans in Move United's Wheelchair Football League. The other spot will highlight the Ojeda family. Lesliee Ojeda is an Army veteran who lost her husband, Army Specialist Ramon Ojeda in Iraq in 2004 and her family has become extremely involved with TAPS since, with Lesliee being a TAPS mentor. The spots will air across network partners throughout Salute to Service. Additionally, features on NFL Network and short-form video vignettes across the NFL's social channels will further honor military and veterans while highlighting the work of the league's military and veteran non-profit partners.
Official NFL partners recognize and support our nation's service members and veterans through Salute to Service
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.
In a program the company is calling "Six for Service," Rocket Mortgage will donate $1,000 toward the fight to end veteran homelessness for every touchdown scored during November Salute to Service games. The company is proud to be a leading supporter of the national movement to end veteran homelessness. During last year's Salute to Service, Rocket Mortgage donated $384,000 for the cause. For more information, visit RocketMortgageSixForService.com.
Crown Royal is honored to partner with the NFL around Salute to Service to donate care packages to service members around the world. Efforts are part of Crown Royal's ongoing commitment to their Purple Bag Project - with over 1 million bags packed and counting.
Additionally, NBC Sports Next, a division of our broadcast partner NBC, will help generate funds for Salute to Service organizations through its GolfNow round-up campaign throughout November. GolfNow, including its TeeOff brand, operates the largest online tee-time marketplace in golf and is the industry's leading provider of golf course operations software and services to more than 9,000 courses worldwide. Anyone booking tee times on GolfNow or TeeOff in November will be provided the opportunity to round up the total cost of the reservation to an even-dollar figure, with the additional contribution going to Salute to Service.
NFL Salute to Service 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 5,500 survivors who are part of TAPS have been able to participate in NFL events and honor their fallen loved one(s). The NFL is also working to fund the TAPS Young Adult Program, which is a program is for 18 to 30-year-old military surviving children and siblings. This program focuses on 5 Pillars of growth and healing during your grief journey. The pillars include personal development, career guidance, communications, financial stability, and service to others.
The Pat Tillman Foundation – To help honor leaders who exemplify Pat Tillman's enduring legacy of service, the NFL partners with the Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides more than $22 million in academic scholarships and lifelong leadership development for nearly 750 Tillman Scholars.
Wounded Warrior Project® – The NFL partners with Wounded Warrior Project® to provide over 200,000 wounded veterans and family support members access to free programs and resources in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care. The NFL has honored countless warriors through connection events at regular season games, the NFL Draft, the Super Bowl, and Pro Bowl and empowered them through impactful Wounded Warrior Project programs like Soldier Ride. Since 2011, the NFL has donated more than $9 million to help injured veterans and their families tackle their next mission in life.
Bob Woodruff Foundation– In 2019, the NFL and the Bob Woodruff Foundation 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 national network. To date, BWF has invested nearly $7.8 million in 62 best-in-class organizations supporting veterans and their families through NFL-BWF Healthy Lifestyles and Creating Communities grants. The NFL and BWF also invested $250,000 in 4 organizations tackling urgent service coordination early in the COVID-19 pandemic.
United Service Organizations (USO) – For more than half a century, the United Service Organizations (USO) and the NFL have partnered to express gratitude to the Armed Forces and to bring communities of fans and supporters together to give more than thanks to the military. Leveraging American football as the cornerstone of the partnership, the USO and NFL honor, empower and connect service members and military families. Through support of USO center expansions, holiday programming and a variety of other events and activations, the NFL helps to deliver sports, entertainment and gaming to troops being called to serve missions around the world. Since 2007, NFL players and coaches have traveled on USO Tours to 26 countries to meet and thank more than 97,000 service members.
For more information on Salute to Service, visit NFL.com/Salute.
# # #
Jordyn White, NFL, Jordyn.White@nfl.com