When the Baltimore Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday (Nov. 6) at M&T Bank Stadium, the teams and fans in attendance will honor veterans and active duty military members through the NFL’s annual Salute to Service campaign.
The Ravens have planned the following pre-game acknowledgements as tributes to the men and women who have sacrificed and to those who are currently serving:
· Outside the stadium, the United States Air Force Band will perform on RavensWalk, and Presidential Battery Salute Cannons will be displayed on the Gate A Plaza.
· Prior to kickoff, Ravens players will be introduced and led onto the field by five service members carrying American flags, one representing each branch of the military.
· Baltimore native Sgt. Joey Odoms, a member of the Maryland Army National Guard, will sing the national anthem. During the anthem, a 40-yard American flag will be displayed and held by National Guard soldiers.
· Members of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region 58th Presidential Inauguration, made up of each branch of the military, will hold five large stars in salute during the anthem.
· An American Bald Eagle, named Challenger, will fly around the stadium’s seating bowl and land on the field during the national anthem.
· There will be a flyover from two A-10 Warthogs of the Maryland National Guard at the conclusion of the national anthem.
To experience the full pre-game tribute, fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 12:40 p.m.
Additionally, as part of the Salute to Service campaign:
· The Hometown Hero game ball delivery, presented by Dietz and Watson, will honor Adrienne Kambouris, a veteran who served in the Army for over 10 years – including two combat tours to Iraq totaling over 27 months of deployment. SSgt Kambouris, a Baltimore native, is also a Pat Tillman Foundation scholar currently attending medical school at the University of Maryland.
· Players and coaches will wear camouflage apparel, including hats, gloves and towels. All player helmets will feature a decal that represents a branch of the military. Ravens cheerleaders will sport American Flag shirts and don red, white and blue poms, while team mascot, Poe, will wear camouflage attire. M&T Bank Stadium will also contain on-field and in-stadium Salute to Service branding.
· A special halftime performance will feature the renowned United States Army Silent Drill Team.
· Guests of the Seats for Service program, presented by Northrop Grumman, will include Black Hawk pilots from Charlie Company, 3-82 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade of Fort Bragg, N.C.
· Game-worn camouflage merchandise, along with special game balls and coins, will be auctioned off at www.nflauction.nfl.com, with proceeds benefiting the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and Wounded Warrior Project. Since 2011, the NFL has donated nearly $10 million to these military nonprofit partners, and in honor of Veterans Day, the league will also donate $1,000 for every point scored throughout the league during each Salute to Service game.
All year long, the Ravens salute the armed forces through several initiatives, including hosting military members at training camp and practices, visiting veteran hospitals, hosting workouts for wounded warriors, welcoming home soldiers and showing support through care packages, letters and daily communication.