We owe our freedoms to soldiers
who will die to give them to us.
Everyone is decked out in some sort of camo on the sidelines.
November is Salute to Service in the NFL.
Yes, I know there are senators making a stink about the NFL being paid by branches of the armed services. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn has created a “Wastebook” documenting 25 billion dollars of wasteful spending. Considering the kinds of things our tax dollars go for I’m glad my tax dollars go toward camo on uniforms in November.
And if the tax dollars ended tomorrow, those teams would continue the tribute no matter what.
Football players like Jared Allen would go out of their way to honor soldiers anyway. His grandfather served 23 years in the U.S. Marine Corps; his little brother is in The Corps now. Allen has homes built for wounded warriors as a way to say thank you for veterans’ service.
Terrell Davis started a wave of touchdown salutes owed to what he called the “toughest profession.” “Anybody who serves in the military, that’s the kind of attitude we need to adopt.”
Ron Rivera, coach of the Carolina Panthers, grew up on Army bases; his father served for 32 years. Riveras’ coaching philosophy is based on a military chain of command. He weaves the concept of sacrifice into his players, pointing out how those who protect us and our freedoms would and do sacrifice their lives.
A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals is humbled by the service of military members. He says, “I want to show my respect to everyone who puts their life on the line so we can be free”
“Thomas’s Troops” are military family members who receive free tickets from the largess of Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns. Military service runs through his family for generations. Visiting troops overseas was an honor for Thomas who represents hundreds of football players who consistently show their appreciation for our military.
During the month of November, all football players choose a military decal to put on their helmets as a salute to those in military service.
Take a moment, do a search with the words “NFL Salute to Service” and watch any number of one minute videos by NFL players who demonstrate with their actions what they believe with their hearts: they are grateful for the simple freedom to play football on Sunday.
Some of my friends today will be silent. They will not write a thing on social media about the titanic freedoms afforded them by the U.S. military. Even their silence lends credence to the freedom they exercise in the face of their ambivalence toward the military might that allows them to sleep safely in their beds at night.
If I had my way, they could wear that green during every game.
PROUD to be an American, THANKFUL for our military, GRATEFUL for the service given by veterans, GLAD that the NFL honors the U.S. Military on Veteran’s Day and every day. Dr. Mark Eckel