Monday’s Military Appreciation Luncheon Leads Up to “Salute to Service” Game vs. Atlanta Falcons; Free Pre-Game Tailgate for Military and $25K Donation to USO Central Florida Among Special TributesOn Monday, November 3, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and USAA hosted a Salute to Service luncheon with USO Central Florida at MacDill Air Force Base for more than 250 members of the Joint Communications Support Element on base. Buccaneers long snapper Andrew DePaola, linebacker Dane Fletcher, kicker Patrick Murray, tight end Brandon Myers, guard Patrick Omameh, safety Keith Tandy and Buccaneers Cheerleaders were on-hand to greet the military members as a thank you for their service.
“People watch football every Sunday, but to get a chance to meet the real heroes, people fighting for our freedoms, it’s huge,” said Tandy, whose brother served in the Navy. “Any time I get a chance to come back and do anything for them – just get their mind off of their stressful job – I’ll help whenever I can.”
This was the third consecutive year that the Buccaneers and USAA have teamed up to host a luncheon for servicemen and servicewomen in the Bay Area. In 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced the addition of USAA, a leading insurance provider to the military community, as an "Official Military Appreciation Sponsor" for the team. USAA became the first-ever Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL in 2011, and USAA has continued to join forces with the Buccaneers through military appreciation activities in Tampa Bay. These efforts will be highlighted through a variety of events and initiatives on Sunday, November 9, when the Buccaneers host the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium for the home team’s “Salute to Service” game.
BUCCANEERS NOV. 9 “SALUTE TO SERVICE” GAME ACTIVITIES
Leading up to Sunday’s kickoff, and throughout the afternoon, the Buccaneers will host a variety of military appreciation events, including:
USO Central Florida Tailgate: USO Central Florida and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host a free pre-game tailgate experience for military families at Raymond James Stadium. All fans with a military ID, as well as their families, are invited to attend the tailgate in Lot 6 between Gates C and D outside Raymond James Stadium. For more information, call USO Central Florida at 813.676.4311.
Buccaneers $25,000 Donation to USO Central Florida: Prior to kickoff, Buccaneers representatives will present USO Central Florida with a $25,000 donation on the field at Raymond James Stadium. USO Central Florida serves as the team’s primary charitable conduit to the local military community, working closely with the Buccaneers on a variety of initiatives including the team’s military “Hero of the Game” and “Salute to Service Suite” honorees, as well as helping to distribute complimentary tickets each season to Tampa Bay military members and their families. The USO operates more than 160 centers worldwide, delivering high-quality programs and services to men and women in uniform.
2014 USAA Salute to Service Award Nominee – Vincent Jackson: On Sunday, the Buccaneers will air a special tribute video on the Raymond James Stadium Bucvision boards celebrating wide receiver Vincent Jackson as the team’s 2014 USAA Salute to Service Award Nominee. This is the second consecutive year that the Buccaneers have nominated Jackson for the award, which is voted on by a blue ribbon panel comprised of former NFL players and coaches who served in the military, NFL and USAA executives. The 2014 Salute to Service Award winner will have a $25,000 donation made in his/her name to the Military Aid Societies of each branch of service by USAA. The award’s two finalists will be announced during the postseason and the 2014 award recipient will be announced at the NFL Honors awards show the night prior to Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona. Jackson, who was raised in a military family, has dedicated his charitable efforts to supporting Tampa Bay’s military community through team events and personal initiatives, including the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation. The video tribute showcasing Jackson’s efforts will also be shared on Buccaneers.com.
Pre-game Jump Team, Player Introductions, Color Guard, and Fly Over: At the conclusion of team warm-ups, the US Special Operations Command Para-Commandos will parachute out of planes flying high above Raymond James Stadium and land on the field. When the Buccaneers are introduced, the team will be welcomed by 30 active-duty service members representing all branches of the military. US Special Operations Command will present the colors, and the national anthem will be performed by the United States Army Chorus Quartet. A pre-game flyover will be carried out by the United States Coast Guard.
Honorary Coin Toss Captain: United States Air Force Colonel Daniel H. Tulley, Commander, 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, will serve as the Buccaneers’ honorary captain. Colonel Tulley will join Buccaneers team captains Lavonte David, Vincent Jackson, Michael Koenen, Gerald McCoy, and Josh McCown at midfield for the coin toss.
Buccaneers Hero of the Game: Following the coin toss, the Buccaneers will continue a gameday tradition by honoring the team’s military “Hero of the Game.” At every Buccaneers home game, a military service member is stationed on the Pirate Ship in Buccaneer Cove to ring the bell and ready the team for battle. The Buccaneers will honor United States Army Air Corps Sergeant Ed Jackfert, a World War II Veteran and former Prisoner of War, who endured Japanese labor camps for more than three years during his service.
Buccaneers Salute to Service Suite: At every Buccaneers home game, the team honors a distinguished group of military members in the Salute to Service Suite. Fans are encouraged to join players and coaches during a break in play in the second quarter to thank local servicemen and servicewomen for their sacrifices, as they are recognized in the south end zone at Raymond James Stadium.
Front Row Fans: Over 200 military and their families will enjoy the game from exclusive end zone seats at Raymond James Stadium as part of the Front Row Fans program.
Halftime Performance: During the game’s halftime intermission, the Florida A&M University Marching Band will perform a special military tribute.
For more information on the Buccaneers’ military appreciation initiatives, visit www.buccaneers.com/salute.
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