Salute to troops show to air Super Bowl Sunday

  • Published
  • By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
  • American Forces Press Service
An hour-long television salute to service members will be broadcast on Super Bowl Sunday on AFN and the Pentagon Channel Feb. 2.

The program will air at 1:30 p.m., 5 p.m., and 9 p.m. EST and can also be seen live on the web.

Sponsored by insurance provider USAA and the NFL, the show is "a culmination of a lot of efforts between USAA and the NFL, throughout the season, to honor and appreciate the service and the sacrifice of military members around the world," said Don Clark, the USAA assistant vice president for media and sponsorship marketing, during an interview with American Forces Press Service.

"We're really excited about putting this on here in New York City and in the backdrop of the Super Bowl," Clark said. "The excitement is really around having some NFL greats with military ties that'll be a part of this event."

Some 200 service members and their families representing all branches of the military from the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst area will attend the event.

"We're excited to host some Gold Star families here as well," he added. "The focus of the event will be Roger Staubach, obviously an NFL Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner."

Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III will also attend, Clark said, adding many don't know the Heisman Trophy winner and 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year is a military brat.

"His parents served in the Army," Clark said of Griffin. "His father retired from the Army, and his mother served 12 years in the Army. He spent a good portion of his time growing up near Fort Hood, Texas."

Charles Tillman, a Pro Bowl cornerback for the Chicago Bears will also be on the panel.

It will be hosted by Trey Wingo, who is a second-generation military brat and sports personality.

"This is our third year as the official military sponsor of the National Football League," Clark said. "We helped them build this Salute to Service campaign back in 2011 ... and it's really grown and grown.

"But this will be the first time that we've been able to put it all together and broadcast this on AFN and the Pentagon Channel," he said.

Clark, himself an Air Force veteran, noted how sports -- specifically football -- provide camaraderie among troops serving where ever the military asks them to go.

"There's so much thankfulness poured out from NFL players -- those who do have their rich military connections and those who may not have as many military connections," he said. "I think there's a lot of appreciation from the players to the military, but the military members really appreciate the time that these players take to spend with them and understand what they do."