Browns to honor servicemen, servicewomen during Salute to Service game vs. Texans (11.12.20)
For Immediate Release
Nov. 12, 2020
BEREA, Ohio – The Cleveland Browns will highlight their year-round platform of local and national military appreciation by honoring military personnel, veterans and their families throughout this week and the home game against the Houston Texans as part of the NFL’s Salute to Service initiative in November.
Cleveland will recognize servicemen and servicewomen from each military branch, as well as family members who support them, during this weekend’s game while incorporating various in-stadium elements and tributes to local heroes. The Browns will also host members of the Army who recently returned home in collaboration with the USO of Northern Ohio, a Browns Give Back First and Ten community partner, at the game.
Veterans from all military branches, selected by the USO of Northern Ohio, will be celebrated in the “Hats Off to Our Heroes Honor Row.” At all Browns home games, the team displays its appreciation for the accomplishments of those who support the country and community, including military members, police, firefighters, first responders and other local heroes. Launched following the 9/11 tragedy, the in-stadium moment is shared on the team’s video boards during the first quarter so the Browns and fans have a shared opportunity to thank these individuals for their service.
During pregame, veteran Generald Wilson, a retired US Navy Petty Officer who served the country for more than 20 years, will sing the national anthem, followed by a flyover from the Ohio Air National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing, stationed at Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base (weather permitting). Browns players will also take the field while carrying flags representing each of the military’s branches.
Additionally, Eric Ohman, a Navy veteran who is currently serving as a firefighter and paramedic in Canton, will serve as the team’s honorary Dawg Pound Captain.
The NFL and Browns on Wednesday announced that FB Andy Janovich was named the team’s 2020 Salute to Service Award nominee, which annually recognizes NFL players, coaches, personnel and alumni who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community, as nominated by NFL clubs. Janovich – who joined the Browns via trade from the Broncos during the 2020 offseason – has consistently displayed his appreciation for active military members and veterans throughout his career, including his involvement with “Hunting with Soldiers.” Through “Hunting with Soldiers,” Janovich and the non-profit organization strive to assist veterans impacted by PTSD, offering comforting experiences activities in nature at no cost, including hunting and fishing.
On Tuesday, Browns staff members and Elk & Elk representatives hosted a drive-through event to show their support of military families, along with the USO of Northern Ohio. Following the occasion, the partnership will help supply 100 military families with care packages, including Browns Salute to Service-themed gifts, family games, children’s books and a gift card from Meijer, the team’s official grocery supercenter.
As the Ohio National Guard continues its weekly food distribution efforts in the Cleveland Municipal Lot with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, another Browns Give Back community partner, the Browns and Arby’s will deliver lunch to representatives on site to thank them for their ongoing contributions to Northeast Ohio families in need during the pandemic.
Also on gameday, a group from the Fisher House Foundation will be hosted as VIP guests with a complementary suite. The Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military members’ and veterans’ families can stay free of charge while a loved one is in the hospital.
The Salute to Service campaign aligns with an NFL tradition of supporting America’s armed services, including a more than 50-year partnership with the USO that hosts overseas visits to troops and trips to military hospitals nationwide. Browns Alumni Joe Thomas (2010) and RB Eric Metcalf (2013) – who was inducted into the Cleveland Browns Legends in 2008 – and other former Browns personnel have participated in weeklong NFL-USO Tours, where they interacted with and thanked military personnel on multiple bases overseas.
Each year, the NFL and its 32 teams come together to honor and support members of the military as part of the NFL’s Salute to Service. The league’s year-round military appreciation efforts culminate in November with NFL Salute to Service games and other special events honoring veterans, active duty service members and their families.
The NFL works with its core military non-profit partners to show gratitude for all those who have served our country. The NFL, along with its partners, is proud to support the Pat Tillman Foundation, TAPS, USO, Wounded Warrior Project and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, to fund programs and provide resources that positively impact veterans and active duty military members and their families. Since 2011, more than $44 million has been raised through Salute to Service to support the league’s military non-profit partners.
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team’s signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
Education – The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed, highlighted by the “Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day” Network. The “Stay in the Game!” Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism. The team engages local school districts and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive. In the 2020-21 school year, the “Stay in the Game!” Network will partner with 16 school districts, benefitting more than 110,000 students in Ohio. An adaptation of the “Get 2 School, Stay In The Game!” Network, the name change reflects the current environment where schools may not necessarily be able to host in-school learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter the circumstances, the “Stay in the Game!” Network will continue to encourage and support students to maintain a strong educational-going mindset to keep learning, every day, aligned with its overall goal to help end chronic absenteeism and provide all students equal opportunities to be successful. To learn more visit, Get2School.org.
Youth Football – The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns’ goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.
First and Ten – Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team’s community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual’s city across the globe, as well as the franchise’s local community. To date, more than 2.75 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team’s website and by sharing their stories with #give10.
About the USO of Northern Ohio:
Since 1941, the USO of Northern Ohio has served as a private, civilian 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that receives no direct government funding but relies solely on the generosity of corporations, organizations and the American people. The USO of Northern Ohio touches the lives of nearly 50,000 active duty, guard and reserve military and their families throughout the 31-county region. For more than 75 years, the USO of Northern Ohio has provided morale, recreation and social services to US Armed Forces personnel and their families through its programs and services. USONO Center facilities are located in the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), Cleveland Hopkins Airport, the NOSC in Toledo, Youngstown Air Reserve Station and care package processing center in Warren. The network of hundreds of volunteers donates nearly 20,000 hours of service annually in honor of these brave men and women.
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