NFL Salute to Service Honors Fallen Heroes and Their Families
More than 400 family members who lost loved ones during their service to the nation attended Salute to Service activities at National Football League (NFL) events over the Veterans Day weekend with TAPS, honoring the lives of their fallen heroes and building new family memories together.
Over the weekend, our families were honored at Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Denver Bronco, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions games. Players wore the initials of a fallen hero on their helmets and met one-on-one with the families of the service member they honored at games.
“TAPS is grateful to the NFL for its longstanding commitment to the men and women of our armed forces,” said Bonnie Carroll, TAPS president and founder. “For the families of those who have lost loved ones in military, the NFL has offered extraordinary experiences on the field where families have honored their fallen heroes and cheered on their favorite teams. This very personal way of honoring a fallen hero and recognizing their families began with the Carolina Panthers in 2015."
In addition to TAPS, the NFL, along with its Salute to Service partners, supports the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and Wounded Warrior Project, to fund programs and provide resources that positively impact active-duty and veteran military members and their families. NFL funding supported the creation and implementation of a team4taps program at this year’s Pro Bowl and will again in 2018. The NFL also recently funded a TAPS International program to support the reconciliation of U.S. military survivors with survivors abroad, as well as youth mentorship and counseling programs including Good Grief Camps for surviving children.
“TAPS families deserve meaningful opportunities to recognize their loved one’s service to this country,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson. “The Falcons, Panthers and Rams, among other NFL clubs, are creating wonderful experiences for these families to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The TAPS sports program, teams4taps, creates meaningful opportunities for the surviving families of America's military fallen by engaging with the athletes and teams they cheered for with their hero. teams4taps works with more than 150 sports teams across the country, and since its inception in 2013, has touched the lives of thousands of surviving military families.
“The best way to honor the fallen is to recognize their families, a living legacy to their service and sacrifice for the freedom and protection of our nation,” said TAPS Vice President of Sports & Entertainment Diana Hosford. “TAPS is able to create these very special opportunities because of the support from NFL clubs like the Falcons, the Panthers and the Rams.”