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Steve Smith Sr. Nominated For Salute To Service Award


Steve Smith Sr. could have won a few awards based on how he played the first half of the season.

Now as the 36-year-old receiver recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, he is getting recognition for his work off the football field.

Smith is the Ravens' nominee for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. The annual NFL award honors a league member for a commitment to honoring and supporting the United States military. Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh won the award in 2013.

Smith has been highly involved in the military community during his career. He has hosted football camps for the children of military members, and this offseason he flew to Germany to host a camp for families at the Ramstein Air Force base.

"I think the biggest reward is their smiling face," Smith said. "It's also to know that you gave something to someone else that is more than just an object. You've given them your time, and they've entrusted you with their time. I think that's the most important thing."

In addition to holding the football camp in Germany, Smith also visited with service members who were recently injured in combat in Afghanistan.

"The Wounded Warriors visit was pretty rough," Smith said. "It was the harsh reality of war and the things that go on, and the things that a lot of the times people don't see. To hear their stories, and understand what they went through, and even how young they are, it's kind of a hard pill to swallow."

Smith also held his second annual Lace Up Son 5K in North Carolina. Smith paid the entrance fee for any military families who wanted to participate.

His involvement in the military dates back several years, and he also took part in the NFL's USO Tour in 2013 where he visited military bases in Afghanistan.

"There are so many issues and so many things going on in today's world," Smith said. "Sometimes, the very thing you overlook is a 'thank you' to people who deserve it most. So, just to walk up to a soldier and just say, 'Thank you for what you have done,' it goes a long way."

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