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NFL teams salute Veterans Day, honor military throughout November

The National Football League will honor veterans and members of the military during November, with teams designating home games as special military recognition days throughout the month.

The NFL has a long history of supporting America's armed services, including a 43-year partnership with the USO that includes overseas visits to troops and trips to military hospitals worldwide.

Some of the Veterans Day initiatives include:

Last Sunday, the Falcons saluted local soldiers in pregame ceremonies. The U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion presented the colors and Carlos Morgan, retired U.S. Army, sang the national anthem. Falcons players will visit the Atlanta VA Medical Center on Veterans Day.

During pregame ceremonies on Nov. 2, the Bills honored local veterans and recognized Honor Flight, a program that flies WW II veterans to Washington, DC. A flyover and a rendition of taps concluded the tribute.

On Nov. 16, the team will recognize local veterans and present a $5,000 donation to the local USO. As part of "Operation Welcome Home," the Panthers will welcome local military members and their families to Bank of America Stadium.

The Bengals' November 2 game featured a C-5 flyover by the U.S. Air Force. Military members will help unfurl a flag on November 16, and a special video will play during pregame.

The Browns hosted a Marine Enlistment Ceremony on Nov. 2, accompanied by a 21-gun salute. Opera Cleveland performed "God Bless America" and the national anthem, followed by a Marine FA-18 flyover. A member of the Wounded Warriors program served as the Browns' honorary captain.

Last Sunday, the Lions continued their tradition of honoring a Michigan National Guard soldier through their Hometown Heroes program.

Green Bay:
On Nov. 16, a local military member will perform the national anthem accompanied by a Marine helicopter flyover. The Packers also will recognize local veterans, and 100 new Army enlistees will take their oath.

The Colts' November 16 game will include a recognition of the U.S. Army color guard and a halftime show honoring veterans. Colts players will visit the local VA Hospital on Veterans Day, and the ribbon-cutting and dedication of the new Colts/USO Room at Indianapolis International Airport will take place on November 18.

On Nov. 16, the Jaguars will pay tribute to families of local fallen soldiers. The team will be led out of the tunnel by soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division and the national anthem will be shown on the video board from Joint Base Balad, Iraq. During the game, the team will show taped messages from deployed soldiers on the video boards. Wounded Warriors and local veterans will be recognized at halftime, followed by a mass enlistment ceremony.

Last Sunday, the Dolphins hosted military personnel on-field for a "Stand To" salute. The team will offer discounted tickets to military members for the game. On November 6, Dolphin Stadium hosted a free hiring event for job seekers with military backgrounds.

The Minnesota National Guard performed the anthem and presented the flag at last Sunday's game. Halftime featured a special welcome-home to the St. Paul-based 2nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment. The Vikings will be visiting a local veterans home on Veterans Day.

New England:
A veteran from Boston and a veteran from Buffalo (last Sunday's opponent), both wounded in Iraq, served as honorary captains for the opening coin toss. Local veterans unfurled a flag in pregame, followed by a military flyover with the anthem sung by Michelle Harris, vocalist of the U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty. The Patriots also honored 86-year-old employee George Boyajian, a WW II and Korean War veteran.

NY Giants:
On November 2, the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill team performed at halftime. On November 16, the Giants will host a member of the Air Force to sing the anthem and members of the Wounded Warriors program as the honorary captains, and conduct a pregame flyover.

The Raiders continued their "Tickets for Troops" program, hosting military members last Sunday. The Air Force Band from Travis Air Force Base performed the anthem, while over 100 airmen and women unfurled the flag. Halftime performances featured local military members.

Last Sunday, the Eagles hosted military members on-field during the national anthem. The Marine Silent Drill Team performed at halftime. Pregame festivities included a video highlighting the Eagles' cheerleaders and their recent trip to Iraq. On November 11, Eagles players and cheerleaders will visit with veterans at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center.

St. Louis:
On November 2, the Rams and Boeing provided all fans with a flag lapel pin. The anthem was performed by a local military member. On Veterans Day, Rams players will visit a VA hospital and participate in a ground-breaking ceremony for Fisher House, a local facility for families of patients receiving medical care at major military and VA medical centers.

On Nov. 16, the Seahawks will recognize two local Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. Kenny Loggins will perform the national anthem, followed by a military flyover. At halftime, the University of Washington Marching Band will perform a military-themed show.

During the Titans' Nov. 2 game, members of the Wounded Warriors program unfurled the flag, and the Titans honored Purple Heart recipients with a game ball. A local military member sang the anthem, followed by a flyover by the 187th Fighter Wing. Members of the Tennessee Army/Air National Guard Band performed, and Lee Greenwood sang "God Bless the USA" at halftime. Ahmard Hall, Titans fullback and a former U.S. Marine, will lead a group of players and cheerleaders on a visit to patients at the local VA Hospital on Veterans Day.

The Purple Heart Halftime show during the Nov. 3 game recognized two wounded servicemen. Players will travel to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit with soldiers and their families on Veterans Day.

Eleven teams have recognized a local military member by naming them as Topps Fans of the Game. These servicemen and women are featured on special Topps football cards. Teams who selected local military members as Topps Fans of the Game include the Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks.

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