Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Running Back)
Kansas City Chiefs Running Back Clyde Edwards-Helaire personifies each component of the NFL's Salute to Service campaign to honor, empower and connect service members, veterans and their families. This is thanks to his upbringing in a military household that was focused on structure and determination. His mother, Tonge, joined the U.S. Army in 1996, while his stepfather, Shannon, enlisted with the Marine Corps in 1989. The couple met as each was serving as drill instructors at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Center in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, marrying in 2002. "Being at home with my military mom and military dad, I guess that's kind of where my competitive nature comes," Edwards-Helaire noted shortly after he was selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. "Just having that upbringing knowing when times got hard, nothing can break you." Shortly after his arrival with the Chiefs, he focused his charitable efforts on supporting those in the military. One manifestation of those efforts is seen through his previous work with the Blue Star Families' "Thank You, Military" Sweepstakes, in which military members entered for a chance to win a Sleep Number 360 smart bed. As a result of this campaign, Edwards-Helaire personally surprised the Henke family of the U.S. Army with a brand-new Sleep Number 360 smart bed and additional products. Additionally, he raises funds in support of Friends In Service of Heroes (FISH), an organization that aims to advocate for support and awareness of the sacrifices our service members make. He's also a mainstay when the Chiefs engage with the military, including at its annual Military Appreciation Day every year during training camp. "A lot of people tend to put military people on the backburner, especially those veterans," he recently noted. "Always having that in mind is close to my heart."