Chargers honor military with Salute to Service

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SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Chargers played their annual Salute to Service game at Qualcomm Stadium Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

With Veterans Day on Monday, fans joined the NFL to thank the military. Each person in the stands held up a card between the first and second quarters to create a message “Thank You Military.”

Players, coaches and sideline personnel were outfitted in decals honoring military branches and camouflage gloves and use camouflage towels.

Game-worn Salute to Service merchandise and footballs will be auctioned at nfl.com/auction. Special camouflage merchandise, including caps, hoodies and select jerseys will be sold at NFLShop.com and in select stadium retails stores.

All the NFL’s net proceeds will be donated to the league’s three core military nonprofit partners, the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and Wounded Warrior Project. The NFL does not profit from the sale or auction of Salute to Service merchandise, a league official said.

For the second consecutive season, teams designated one home game in November to honor the military. For every point scored in the NFL’s 32 Salute to Service games, the league will donate $100 each to the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and Wounded Warrior Project.

Pat Tillman put his NFL career on hold in 2002 to join the U.S. Army. Following his death while serving with the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan, his family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active duty service members and their spouses.

The Chargers are encouraged fans to bring non-perishable food to help families in economic distress and bolster the low food supply at the San Diego Food Bank.

Fans unable to attend the game can place items in red bins located in supermarkets throughout San Diego County.

The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) sponsored similar tributes at stadiums across the country.

“What a great, great thing to support our military and everything here that San Diego represents,” said Chargers fan Becky Connolly.

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