Steelers show their support for the military

Tuesday was a day to show local military how much they are appreciated, while at the same time get an up close look at an area military base.

Steelers B.J. Finney, Arthur Moats and Greg Warren visited the 171st Air Refueling Wing at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard as a part of the team's Salute to Service celebration, done in conjunction with USAA.

"Just spending time, having one-on-one time, is special," said Moats, whose father was a Marine. "It's always important to support the Salute to Service initiative with us having military backgrounds as well."

The players signed autographs for those working at the base, toured a KC-135 Stratotanker and then took turns in a simulator where they gave hooking one plane up to another to refuel it, with their teammates controlling the weather, their best shot.

"We are just getting to hang out with some of the Air National Guard," said Warren. "This is awesome. For me it's almost like being home. I grew up around the Air Force Base. This is as cool as anything we have done in a while."

Veteran's Day is on Nov. 11, and in honor of that the NFL has instituted their Salute to Service initiative. Every team designates a game to honor local military, and the Steelers will do so when they host the Dallas Cowboys on Nov. 13.

"Today is all about giving back to all the military members, family and friends in the Pittsburgh area," said Ronney Wright, USAA military affairs representative. "Today is giving back. Look at any given Sunday and the military members are going out, we love the NFL, and we are watching them. Today we are doing it in the reverse.

"How many times do you have a unique experience like this, to have NFL players around? I know they will cherish it."

That, they will.

"It's very exciting," said Jasmine Weppel, an aircraft maintenance officer. "It shows the Steelers have support for the military. In this day and age that is great to have, that camaraderie and community."

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