Browns to honor servicemen and servicewomen during today’s game

The Browns will honor servicemen and servicewomen from each military branch during Sunday’s game against the Ravens as part of the NFL’s Salute to Service initiative.

Cleveland will salute and host military personnel, veterans and their

families from each military branch during the AFC North contest,

incorporating various in-stadium elements and tributes to these local

heroes.

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                                (Photo by @FSOhioGirls)

A local Marine, identified through the Wounded Warrior Project, will be

honored on the field and will participate in the Browns’ introduction

during pregame, which will also feature members of the Ohio National

Guard and representatives from each military branch.

Before the game, 22 individuals at FirstEnergy Stadium will also be sworn into the United States Army.

In addition to military personnel who attend games through season-ticket programs sponsored by Browns coaches and players, members of the United States Army will be VIP guests in the Hats Off to Our Heroes Honor Row, which recognizes and salutes the accomplishments and services of those who support our country and communities, as well as local heroes, at each home game. Browns Head Coach Rob Chudzinski (Chud’s Heroes; three charities including the VA Medical Center), offensive coordinator Norv Turner (Norv’s Warriors; Wounded Warrior Project) and OL Joe Thomas (Thomas’ Troops; USO of Northern Ohio) support military-related charities through their personally funded season-ticket programs, which include tickets to every home game, customized T-shirts with the program’s namesake, sideline banners in FirstEnergy Stadium’s lower bowl and other benefits throughout the season.

The Browns in 2013 nominated LB D’Qwell Jackson, a defensive captain who leads the team with 72 tackles and has played 583 of 584 (99.8 percent) possible defensive snaps, only subbing out for a Hail Mary attempt against Minnesota, for the NFL’s Salute to Service Award in recognition of his dedication and commitment to those who serve our country. The Salute to Service Award, presented by USAA, is an annual award whereby the NFL and USAA honor excellence in military-appreciation efforts by NFL coaches, players and staff.

The Salute to Service campaign aligns with an NFL tradition of supporting America’s armed services, including a more than 45-year partnership with the USO that hosts overseas visits to troops and trips to military hospitals nationwide. Jackson (2013), Browns OL Alex Mack (2011) and Thomas (2010) all recently participated in weeklong NFL-USO Tours during the offseason, when they interacted with military personnel on bases in southwest Asia. Former Browns wide receiver Eric Metcalf, inducted into the Cleveland Browns Legends in 2008, also joined an NFL-USO Tour in 2013.

Launched in 2012, Salute to Service extends the NFL’s long history of honoring veterans and active duty members of the military. Unifying and elevating the extensive military-appreciation work of the NFL and its clubs, each team will display a number of Salute to Service-branded elements in its stadium for a designated home game in November. Components include camouflage goal-post wraps, towels, gloves and other equipment, as well as footballs, pylons, banners and lapel pins with the NFL camouflage ribbon.

Game-used items will be collected following Salute to Service games and auctioned on NFL Auction (nfl.com/auction), with 100 percent of net proceeds donated to the league’s three core military non-profit partners: the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and the Wounded Warrior Project.