Veterans Day always is a time for thousands of our members to reflect and to thank our military men and women who have served and sacrificed in defending our freedom.
Many of you are military veterans or have close family members and friends who serve– or have been– in the Armed Forces.
More than 1,000 NFL personnel served during World War II at a time when our league was only in existence for 20-25 years. In the Korean War, 225 NFL players fought for our country. The Vietnam conflict involved dozens of NFL alumni and active players who were either military reservists or active Marines, soldiers, or sailors. Finally, we also have had many players show their patriotism and volunteer to join or support the military in the nearly 50 years since the end of the Vietnam War.
Our proud tradition of NFL Alumni members supporting our military brothers and sisters continues this year. For example, Franco Harris tomorrow on Veterans Day at the Pro Football Hall of Fame will moderate a panel that includes Marie Tillman, the widow of our brave Pat Tillman who died in Afghanistan in 2004. Marie and Pat’s close friends started the Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) in his memory later that year. More than 800 military service members, veterans and spouses have received educational scholarships from the Foundation. PTF has spent more than $20 million in support of military vets during these last 18 years.
The League earlier this month announced the nominees for its annual Salute to Service Award which recognizes NFL alumni, players, coaches and staff who honor and support military communities. The nominees this year include NFL alums Jarrett Johnson, Eric Hipple, Daryn Colledge, Paul Posluszny, Jay Schroeder, and Ron Rivera. To learn more about the program and to vote for your Alumni brothers, visit NFL.com/SaluteFanVote.
As the country observes Veterans Day tomorrow (November 11), we at NFL Alumni ask you to join us as we honor and support our patriotic military at every opportunity.