The Steelers will honor active-duty service members and veterans on Thursday night at Acrisure Stadium as a part of the Steelers Salute to Service game. The Salute to Service game, an annual NFL initiative, honors our nation's service members, veterans, and their families.
There will be plenty of activities honoring the military, including some with Steelers ties.
Cornerback Levi Wallace, who is the Steelers Salute to Service Award nominee, welcomed a group of minority veterans to Acrisure Stadium for a banner hanging ceremony earlier in the week and they will hang on Art Rooney Avenue for the game. The veterans were also presented with tickets and are attending the game.
The Terrible Towel Twirl will be led by John Banaszak, the Steelers three-time Super Bowl Champion and United States Marine Corps veteran, along with the veterans Wallace honored earlier this week.
The U.S. Steel Salute to Heroes recipient is Petty Officer Michael E. McCarthy, United States Navy Seabee. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, McCarthy was chosen as he served during that time. Under enemy fire, McCarthy provided our forces safe routes through the challenging terrain. After the war, he continued to serve our community and veterans. He is a founding member of the Veteran's Court and a board member of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare's Fisher House. He served the community as a county police officer, an assistant DA, and is a Judge for the Fifth Judicial District of Pennsylvania.
The community organization of the game is the Veterans Leadership Program. Veterans Leadership Program is a Veteran-centric human service organization that provides housing, employment, wellness, and supportive services to Veterans and their family members residing in the Pittsburgh, Altoona, Butler, and Erie Veterans Administration Medical Center catchment areas, comprised of 30 counties throughout Western and Central Pennsylvania.
A Salute to Service video featuring messages from Steelers players and coaches will air during pregame. The video will include a message from Coach Mike Tomlin, thanking service men and women who 'provide the blanket of protection we all appreciate.'
The Terrible Towel unfurl will be led by 28th Infantry Division Band and the 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command of U.S. Army Reserve.
The Color Guard will be a Joint Services one representing the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force.
The National Anthem will be performed by Technical Sergeant Melissa Lackore of the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. In addition, Full Spectrum, from the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band will perform pregame at Stage AE.
There will be a pregame presentation at the POW/MIA Chair. Local leaders will join military representatives for a solemn remembrance.
Active-duty service members will be the flag runners to lead the team out of tunnel representing the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force. It will be led by the American Flag and POW/MIA Flag.
The American Red Cross will staff a holiday card signing station for deployed military members, veterans and their families. Fans can visit the display in the Fed Ex Great Hall from when gates open until the end of halftime.
Halftime will feature an on-field competition featuring all five branches of the military in a 100-yard challenge, playing for their designated charities. The challenge is to make it 100 yards with a combination of your punt, pass and kick. Each charity will receive $5,000. Steelers legends Jon Kolb, who served in the United States Army, and Arthur Moats, who supports military organizations, will serve as the honorary co-captains for the contest.
In addition, there will be military shoutouts throughout the game on the jumbotron from local deployed service members and fans. Gameday employees who served in the military will be honored. 'I Salute' placards will be handed out to fans. Salute to Service banners and stencils will be on display throughout the stadium. Military charities will be set up on Art Rooney Avenue for fans to stop by pregame.