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NFL Salute to Service |


Salute to Service Award


John Lynch (General Manager and Former Strong Safety)

One of the most respected players to ever play the game of football, and a five-time finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, John Lynch enters his third season as the team's General Manager following a 15-year playing career and more than eight seasons as an NFL analyst. In addition to his passion for professional football, Lynch has a longstanding appreciation for the United States military. As someone whose grandfather and great uncle volunteered for the Army the day after the deadly attacks on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Lynch has the utmost respect for our military service men and women and has committed time and resources towards supporting the United States Armed Forces for decades. Since 1998, Lynch has frequented various Air Force bases and military hospitals to personally thank those serving in the military, including MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, and various visits to Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.

In 2002, the John Lynch Foundation hosted the 'Salute the Stars & Stripes' fundraiser honoring then United States Army Commander of United States Central Command Tommy Franks. "Military appreciation is so important to me, because we understand that the unbelievable freedoms, ideals and realities that make America – in my mind – the greatest country in the world are given to us because a lot of people sacrificed for them. To me, no one does so more than the military." For these efforts and more, Lynch was the recipient of the 2006 Bart Starr Award, which is voted upon by players throughout the NFL and recognizes a player who shows outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. During his last season playing in the NFL (2007), Lynch hosted troops from Buckley Air Force Base (Aurora, Colorado) during the Denver Broncos training camp at Dove Valley.

Lynch's military appreciation continues to this day. Every year since 2011, he has hosted military families at the annual Lynch Christmas Party in Colorado and each holiday season with the 49ers, he hosts military families and underserved youth for a holiday party and practice visit. These military families are without mother or father during the holiday season due to deployment and have the opportunity to enjoy brunch and view a closed practice from the sidelines.

During training camp in 2018 and 2019 with the 49ers, Lynch again welcomed 250 active duty troops and veterans for a VIP practice experience and then hosted a meet-and-greet with players and coaches. In November 2017, Lynch spearheaded a visit to the USO office at the San Jose Military Entrance Processing Station in order to congratulate newly enlisted recruits heading off to basic training and thank them for their dedication of service. Lynch's commitment to supporting veteran organizations like USO Bay Area, has driven a close partnership with the nonprofit and the 49ers that has led to new opportunities to support their troops and families with game tickets, Salute to Service program involvement and choosing USO Bay Area as the 50/50 raffle beneficiary for the 2019 Salute to Service game.