INDIANAPOLIS – The National Football League and its clubs have supported our nation’s veterans and active duty service men and women for more than 50 years. This year, that tradition will continue in a bigger way than ever before through the league-wide Salute to Service campaign. Across the NFL, teams will work to show their military appreciation this November.
Locally, the Indianapolis Colts are joining the Salute to Service campaign by partnering with the American Red Cross of Greater Indianapolis on their Holiday Mail for Heroes program, dedicating their November 4 game to military appreciation and giving www.colts.com a patriotic theme. In addition, on Monday, November 5, the Colts will partner with Harrison College and local students to decorate footballs and assemble 200 care packages to be delivered to the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in honor of Veterans Day. The team has created www.colts.com/salute to highlight both the local and national Salute to Service campaign.
HOLIDAY MAIL FOR HEROES
For the first year, the Colts are teaming up with the American Red Cross to support their Holiday Mail for Heroes program, an initiative the Red Cross started six years ago to provide holiday cheer for U.S. military members serving around the world. To date, more than 4 million cards have been distributed with holiday greetings and gratitude from the American public.
The Colts and the Red Cross have created 5,000 Colts-themed holiday cards for fans to sign at the team’s Blue Friday event this Friday, November 2, at the Mooresville Meijer (10509 Heartland Boulevard, Mooresville, IN 46113), from 12-1 p.m. Fans attending Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins will also have the opportunity to sign a card inside the Colts Fan Zone and main concourse of Lucas Oil Stadium.
NOVEMBER 4 – MILITARY APPRECIATION GAME
The team’s November 4 military appreciation efforts will include on-field recognition of local servicemen and women, as well as opportunities for fans to show their appreciation. WISH-TV’s news anchors and reporters, along with volunteers from the American Red Cross, will distribute camouflage ribbons outside the gates of Lucas Oil Stadium from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. In addition, the Colts will honor more than 250 veterans, active duty military members and family members of fallen soldiers on the field. Eleven soldiers have also been selected to run out with the Colts starting lineup.
A complete list of the Colts gameday military appreciation efforts includes:
- A pre-game camo ribbon distribution for fans outside Lucas Oil Stadium gates from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in partnership with WISH-TV
- More than 100 children and family members of fallen soldiers honored as the 12th Man Fans of the Game
- Colts starting lineup players will be accompanied by a soldier during the team introductions
- A full-field flag presentation by more than 150 soldiers from all five branches of the military
- The National Anthem sung by Indiana National Guardsman Specialist Ronald Walker
- Holiday Mail for Heroes booths in the Colts Fan Zone and outside sections 110, 132, 143 and 148
- Special edition Scout gameday program cover
- A special “Heroes” video PSA featuring several Colts players
- Limited edition camouflage gloves, captains patches and Gatorade towels for Colts players
- Goal post wraps, in-stadium banners, pylon decals and the words “SALUTE TO SERVICE” written out in the back of the endzone
- Helmet decals representing all five branches of the military
- Military personnel will participate in the Harrison College T-shirt Toss during the game and receive front row seats, compliments of Harrison College
NOVEMBER 5 – RICHARD L. ROUDEBUSH VA MEDICAL CENTER VISIT
For the third consecutive year, the Indianapolis Colts will work with local students to decorate 200 Colts footballs and place them in care packages for delivery to veterans at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis, Ind. This year, the Colts are partnering with Harrison College to engage students from Metropolitan High School, as well as Harrison College students and employees, in the project.
On Monday, November 5, Colts players and Community Spokesperson Josh Bleill will visit Metropolitan High School from 10-11 a.m. to help the students and Harrison College employees decorate 200 footballs with messages of thanks. The footballs will then be placed in care packages and delivered to veterans by students and players from 1 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. that afternoon at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center.
Veterans Care Package Assembly
Care Package Delivery
10 – 11 a.m.
1 – 2:30 p.m.
Metropolitan High School
1635 West Michigan Street
Indianapolis, IN 46222
Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center
1481 West 10th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Colts players, Community Spokesperson and Iraq War Veteran Josh Bleill, 40 students and Harrison College employees
Colts players, 4 high school students, 2 Harrison College students
SALUTE TO SERVICE FUNDRAISING
The NFL has made a commitment to donate $300 for each point scored during the 32 dedicated Salute to Service games (one per NFL club). The donation will be split equally between the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and Wounded Warrior Project.
In addition, game-used camouflage items will be collected from each NFL following Salute to Service games and auctioned on NFL Auction (nfl.com/auction) with 100% of net proceeds donated to the league’s core military non-profit partners mentioned above.
About Salute to Service
The National Football League will continue its long history of honoring veterans and active duty members of the military with its new annual “Salute to Service” campaign that will occur each November. The “Salute to Service” campaign is designed to unify and elevate the extensive military appreciation work of the NFL and its clubs. Throughout November, teams will designate home games as special military appreciation games. During these games, teams will display “Salute to Service” banners on their sidelines, in addition to hosting ceremonies to honor the service and sacrifice of our nation’s troops.
The “Salute to Service” campaign aligns with the NFL’s long history of supporting America’s armed services, including a partnership of more than 45 years with the USO that includes overseas visits to troops and trips to military hospitals nationwide.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.
About Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center
Since 1932 the VA Medical Center has been serving veterans, providing acute inpatient medical, surgical, psychiatric, neurological, and rehabilitation care, as well as both primary and specialized outpatient services. Each year, the Center cares for more than 53,000 patients.
About Harrison College
Harrison College is a contemporary, career-focused institution of higher education serving more than 4,500 students throughout the United States and Internationally. Harrison College has 12 campuses in Indiana and Ohio, two culinary schools in Indiana and North Carolina, and also offers courses online at harrison.edu. The institution grants Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees across five schools of study: Business, Health Sciences, Information Technology, Criminal Justice, and Veterinary Technology, as well as its culinary division, The Chef’s Academy. Harrison College offers students a variety of learning environments including online, traditional classroom, or a combination of both. Harrison College is accredited by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) and is dedicated to excellence in higher learning. In addition, the College is currently a Candidate with The Higher Learning Commission and an affiliate of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). Harrison College was founded in 1902 as Indiana Business College, and is celebrating its 110th anniversary of preparing students for their chosen professions.