RAVENS HOST MILITARY APPRECIATION DAY
The Baltimore Ravens will hold their annual Military Appreciation Day today (Monday, July 30) at the Under Armour Performance Center. All guests invited to this morning's practice are active service members and veterans and their families. Numerous military organizations were invited to participate, including local military bases, the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, Our Military Kids, Wounded Warrior Project, TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) and more.
Though not required, members of the Armed Forces were encouraged to attend in uniform. Additionally, all guests will be given a special edition Ravens camouflage hat upon entrance and are invited to obtain player autographs immediately following practice.
This marks the Ravens' 11th annual Military Appreciation Day, an event head coach John Harbaugh instituted during his first season with the team in 2008. Since its establishment, over 9,000 service members have enjoyed preferred seating and opportunities to meet with players and coaches each summer.
Harbaugh has long been an advocate of the U.S. Military, with the NFL awarding him its 2013 Salute to Service Award, acknowledging exceptional efforts by those in the league who honor and support military members. (Harbaugh was also a finalist for the award in 2011.) In 2012, Army Chief of Staff General Raymond Odierno presented him with the Outstanding Civilian Service Award. Harbaugh took part in the annual NFL-USO coaches' tour of the Middle East in 2009, has visited numerous military bases in the U.S. and abroad (including a 2014 February trip to the Middle East), has purchased school supplies for children whose parents are serving in the military and has sent care packages to troops overseas.
A history buff, Harbaugh has taken the Ravens to Gettysburg, Pa., during offseason team activities to learn about the Civil War. He has also surprised the team by cancelling practice, loading everyone on buses to visit The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery (2017) and visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. (2017 and 2018). The trips were opportunities for players, coaches and staff to receive behind-the-scenes tours of the historic locations and show appreciation for what each represents.