Steelers honor veterans with Salute to Service

The Steelers will host their Salute to Service game on Sunday when they host the Dallas Cowboys and will honor the military throughout the game.

The Salute to Service program is part of honoring the military in conjunction with Veterans Day as a way of thanking them for their service.

The Pittsburgh Steelers would like to thank those who have served our country.

Players are wearing helmet decals honoring military branches including Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard, as well as the NFL Salute to Service ribbon. Other aspects include Salute to Service ribbon footballs, gloves, sideline hats, pins, towels, banners, and a USAA Salute to Service coin for the coin toss.

The NFL donates 100% of proceeds from the sale of Salute to Service merchandise to its military non-profit partners, the USO, Pat Tillman Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project. The NFL will again donate $1,000 for every point scored during the NFL's 32 Salute to Service games to the partners.*  *

The Steelers will honor a veteran from each of the wars including World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm/Desert Shield War, and War on Terror - Iraq and Afghanistan War. The veterans will stand with the players for the National Anthem.

Those honored will be:
Private First Class Warren Goss – World War II (European Theater)
Private First Class Bernie Hoffman – World War II (Pacific Theater)
Private First Class Paul Eibeck – Korean War
Specialist Chuck Rock – Vietnam War
Army Sgt. Major Jack M. Scott – Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Captain Eric McElvenny – War on Terror

Wings of Blue, the U.S. Air Force Parachute Team, will be jumping the game ball into Heinz Field. Five jumpers will parachute in with the flags representing each branch of service and deliver the game ball and footballs for the veterans being honored.

The ATI Salute to Heroes honoree is retired Army Captain John P. Kelly. In honor of the Salute to Service game Kelly's service dog Ranger, has been donated by the Steelers.

Other activities include:

  • Master Sgt Richard Vasquez of the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band will sing the National Anthem.
  • Army Veteran and former Steelers linebacker Andy Russell will lead the Terrible Towel Twirl along with four local Vietnam Veterans in commemoration of 50 years since the Vietnam War.  Joining him will be Vietnam Veterans Aviation Electrican Third Class (AE3) John Kennel, U.S. Navy, Sergeant Bill Gulassa, U.S. Marine Corps, Specialist-4 Rick Courson, U.S. Army, and Corporal Ken "Gizzy" Harvey, U.S. Marine Corps.
  • Former Steelers running back Rocky Bleier, a Vietnam Veteran, will be a part of the commemoration of 50 years since the Vietnam War. Bleier will be in the Ford Fan Zone prior to the game for a meet & greet from 2:45-3:45 p.m.
  • Performance by The United States Air Force Full Spectrum in the FedEx Great Hall.
  • The Terrible Towel Unfurl will include members of the military.
  • The Military 100-Yard Challenge will take place at halftime, featuring members of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard competing on the field to win a donation for the charity of their choice.
  • The American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program will have cards available in the FedEx Great Hall for fans to sign through halftime.
  • A USAA Salute to Service coin will be used for the coin toss.
  • The USAA will host veterans for a pregame tailgate and have them as their guests at the game.
  • The 50/50 Raffle will benefit local military charities.
  • Local World War II Veteran Sgt. Dan Gimiliano will receive the FedEx game ball delivery.
  • A Joint Services Color Guard will present the colors.
  • PNC Community Champ will be Veteran Tony Accamando who is now head of Veteran Cable Services. His company supports veterans in our area adjust to civilian life through a number of programs.
  • Former Navy Seal Carlos Moleda will be honored as a part of a presentation recognizing Paralyzed Veterans of America.
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