Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward is the team's Salute to Service nominee for 2023.
Ward has consistently honored and empowered service members, veterans and their families over his four decades with the club. The Colts employ a significant number of veterans across the organization, and in the last three years alone have increased veteran representation on staff by 200 percent. That increase is the direct result of an intentional effort to hire talented staffers who happen to have served in the United States armed forces.
Each year, the Colts host "Breakfast With Our Vets," an event of which Ward is an executive sponsor. The event, in coordination with the Indiana National Guard and Indianapolis-area veteran's organizations, gathers internal staffers and external members of the community together on Veteran's Day to honor and support local veterans. Staff participation in the event is high, allowing members of the Colts to express their appreciation directly to veterans – while giving those veterans a space to be uplifted and recognized for their service to our country.
Through Ward's direction, the Colts have created a substantial place for active duty service members, veterans and their families on gamedays at Lucas Oil Stadium. Ward was part of an initiative to install a "Chair of Honor" at Lucas Oil Stadium in 2014, with the permanently-unoccupied seat honoring our POW and MIA heroes. The Colts honor Gold Star Families during the NFL's annual Salute to Service game, and military members are a fixture during the national anthem. Additionally, the Colts hold a military appreciation day during training camp, further honoring and benefitting local service members, veterans and their families.
Fans can vote for Ward to be named an NFL Salute to Service Award finalist by clicking here.