When the Baltimore Ravens take on the Jacksonville Jaguars this Sunday (11/15) at M&T Bank Stadium, the team will continue its history of honoring veterans and active duty military members through the annual Salute to Service campaign. These efforts, many of which honor the 70thanniversary of the World War II conclusion, include:
- Baltimore native Sgt. Joey Odoms, a member of the Maryland Army National Guard, will sing the national anthem. During the anthem, a field-size American flag will be displayed and held by representatives of the United States Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Maryland Army National Guard. A flyover, performed by WWII Era planes from the Commemorative Air Force Capital Wing, will occur at the end of the anthem.
- Prior to kickoff, Ravens players will be introduced onto the field led by five service members, one representing each branch of the military. Additionally, the Hometown Hero game ball delivery, presented by Dietz and Watson, will honor Vernon E. Kirk Jr., a veteran who served in the 8th Air Force, 68th Squadron during WWII. Kirk received a Purple Heart due to injuries he endured in Germany in 1944.
- The Ravens will also incorporate many camouflaged-themed elements into the Nov. 15 game. Players and coaches will wear camouflaged apparel including hats, gloves and towels. All player helmets will feature a decal that represents a branch of the military. Ravens cheerleaders will sport red, white and blue uniforms, team mascot Poe will wear camouflaged attire and Baltimore's Marching Ravens will perform patriotic-themed songs. A special halftime performance will feature the United States Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team. M&T Bank Stadium will also contain on-field and in-stadium Salute to Service branding.
- Guests of the Seats for Service program, presented by Northrop Grumman, will also include WWII honorees. William Doherty of the United States Navy Pacific Theater gave up a full scholarship to Yale University to enlist in the Navy at the age of 18 and serve his country from 1944-46. In addition, Anthony Stabile of the United States Marine Corps will be recognized. Stabile's 26 years of service included combat in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
- Game-worn camouflaged 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 $4.5 million* *to these military nonprofit partners, and in honor of Veterans Day, the league will also donate $1,000 for every point scored during each Salute to Service games
All year long, the Ravens salute members of 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. For more information, please visit www.baltimoreravens.com/community.