The National Football League will honor veterans and active-duty members of the military in November, with teams designating home games as special "Military Recognition Games" throughout the month.
During this weekend's games and the NFL Network's first Thursday Night Football telecast of the season, on Nov. 11, when the Baltimore Ravens visit the Atlanta Falcons for a Veterans Day showdown, the NFL's network partners will support the USO through promotion of a special text-to-give campaign to benefit active-duty troops and Wounded Warriors.
The NFL has a long history of supporting America's armed services, including a 45-year partnership with the USO that includes overseas visits to troops and trips to military hospitals nationwide.
Among the new initiatives:
» The first NFL-Tillman Military Scholar -- Army Staff Sgt. Patrick Nelson of Dawson, Minn., a former paratrooper with 39 months of combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan who attends Minnesota State University -- will be recognized at Sunday's Vikings-Cardinals game in Minneapolis. The NFL earlier this year announced the establishment of a scholarship with the Pat Tillman Foundation to honor a former servicemember who exemplifies former Cardinals defensive back Pat Tillman's enduring legacy of service.
The Tillman Foundation supports educational opportunities for veterans and their families. The foundation's Tillman Military Scholars program covers not only direct study-related expenses, such as tuition, fees, and books, but also other needs, such as room and board and child care.
» The NFL will expand its relationship with Pro vs. GI Joe, a non-profit organization that connects servicemembers with professional athletes, through the "Rehabbing with the Troops" program Wednesday in San Diego and Nov. 16 in Washington. Wounded Warriors will work out with Chargers and Redskins players using the new EA SPORTS Active NFL Training Camp, a football-based training program that simulates the football drills and conditioning workouts of an NFL training camp. These workouts are part of a season-long physical therapy and rehabilitation program for Wounded Warriors.
» The NFL will continue to offer its Game Pass HD service free of charge at USO Centers for military members stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Japan. At the USO facility in each of these locations, servicemembers can watch every NFL game live and online in its entirety.
In addition, teams will honor veterans and the armed services with a number of pregame and in-stadium initiatives during November.