Pregame Blog: Steelers vs. Bengals

Tribute to service: The Steelers will honor active duty members and veterans during the Steelers Salute to Service game. The Salute to Service Game, an annual NFL initiative, honors our nation’s military, veterans and their families.

The Terrible Towel Twirl will be helmed by Steelers legend and Vietnam veteran Rocky Bleier, as well as actor and Pittsburgh native Joe Manganiello, an avid Army supporter whose family has since served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution and Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, Chief of the Army Reserve and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Reserve Command.

Terrible Towel’s deployment will be led by Lt. Gen. Donna W. Martin, the U.S. Army’s overall inspector general, and Brig. Gen. Jake S. Kwon, commander of the Reserve’s 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command. of the US Army. Additionally, members of the 28th Infantry Division Band and the U.S. Army Reserve 316th Expeditionary Sustainment Command will participate.

The Color Guard will be a joint service representing the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force.

The national anthem will be performed by the United States Army Herald Trumpets. After the anthem and before the draw, a team-inspired Salute to Service video will play, followed by a PA announcement urging active and veteran service members to stand

The 28th Infantry Division Orchestra will perform at AE Stadium before the game and throughout the pre-game on the stadium grounds.

On Friday, cornerback Levi Wallace, whose parents both served in the U.S. Air Force, presented local female and minority veterans with a banner and tickets to the game. Banners will be displayed on Art Rooney Avenue during the game.

There will be a pre-game presentation at the POW/MIA chair pre-game. Local leaders will join members of TAPS, a military organization that helps families of fallen service members. It is a national non-profit organization that provides support to those bereaved by the death of an active military member or veteran.

Active duty members will be the flag bearers to lead the team out of the tunnel representing the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Space Force. It will be led by the American flag and the POW/MIA flag.

The American Red Cross will staff a vacation card signing station for deployed service members, veterans and their families. Fans can visit the display in the Fed Ex Great Hall from when the doors open until the end of halftime. 5,000 cards will be on hand for Steelers fans to sign.

The neighborhood Ford store will host a fundraiser on Sunday to benefit Pittsburgh VA Homeless Veterans Programs and the DAV Transportation Program. The Neighborhood Ford store has been a long-time supporter of veterans programs, these two in particular, as they have been in the DAV program for 100 years now.

The half will feature an on-court competition featuring the five branches of the military in a punt, passing and kicking competition, playing for their designated charities. The challenge is to cover 100 yards with a combination of punting, passing and kicking. Each charity will receive $5,000.

Additionally, there will be military shouting throughout the game on the jumbotron from locally deployed service members and fans. Gameday employees who served in the military will be honored. “I Salute” signs will be distributed to fans. Service Tribute banners and stencils will be displayed throughout the stadium. A video celebrating the 240th anniversary of the creation of the Purple Heart will be shown before the game. The 50/50 write-up will benefit military charities.

About Elaine Morales

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