A banner day for local veterans

The Steelers will celebrate those who served and those who continue to serve on Monday night as a part of the team's Salute to Service game, but before that even happened, tight end Eric Ebron celebrated a group of local veterans.

Ebron surprised 10 veterans who are part of the Veterans Place Minority Veteran Program with banners that honored their service, as well as tickets for Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears at Heinz Field.

The group received their banners, which will hang on Art Rooney Avenue on Monday night, and their game tickets from Ebron in the Ford Fan Zone at Heinz Field.

"I want to say personally, and for our Steelers organization, staff and team, I want to say thank you," said Ebron. "I have a few family members that have served. My dad was a Marine. My grandfather was also. My grandfather served in three wars. Crazy to our family. His nickname was Lucky, obviously. He was a huge staple in our family. When we describe him, if they have Peyton Manning outside of Lucas Oil (Stadium), we would have our grandfather outside. That's who helped support us.

"On behalf of us, the Rooney family, the Steelers organization, we're going to give all of you a banner with your name on it outside on Art Rooney Avenue. It's showing the support for what you did for us. Then when you come to the game on Monday night, you can go see it."

Ebron spent time talking to the veterans, posing for pictures, and just thanking them for all they have done for our country.

"This was a no brainer," said Ebron. "Being a part of this event, it being a part of my family, it's easy for me to do. It makes total sense. I am luckier to be in their presence than they are in mine. I am lucky to get to see them. I am thankful to be able to talk to them and them to be home with their families."

The Steelers will have other events as a part of Salute to Service, an initiative that Ebron enjoys.

"I think it's important the same way we make all the cancers important (during Crucial Catch month)," said Ebron. "It's important to understand there are people out there fighting every day, protecting us in some way, shape, form or fashion. I think that is important.

"The fact that we acknowledge it to show we care. I am happy the NFL has it as a part of their agenda."

And Ebron is thrilled the group will be at Heinz Field to enjoy the game, and the tribute to those who serve.

"This is one of the biggest stages in football," said Ebron. "For them to come out and enjoy it, and us respect them, that's huge."

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