Chicago Bears nominate Matt Slauson for the Salute to Service Award

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the Chicago Bears announced that offensive guard Matt Slauson was their nomination for the 5th annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.

This award, which is presented each year by USAA and the NFL, "honors a league member who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community. USAA is the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL."

Finalists for the award will be announced in January, 2016. The winner will be honored at the "5th Annual NFL Honors" Awards Show in San Francisco, which will be aired on CBS on Saturday, Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50.

Here's why the Bears chose Slauson as their nominee.

Matt played one season at Air Force Prep School in Colorado Springs and his brother Chris is currently serving in the military. Chris earned a degree in Astronautical engineering from the Air Force Academy. He's an Air Force major, a C-17 jet pilot who has flown three tours in the Middle East.

Matt supports any military initiatives coordinated by the Bears. He has visited children from military families at Great Lakes Naval Base as part of a program in conjunction with the USO called Teen/Tween Tuesdays with the Bears. Quarterly events are planned for the children, similar to the bowling and pizza night Matt attended on the base. He also takes every opportunity possible to visit with members of the military who are invited to watch an OTA or mini-camp practice at Halas Hall.

Matt has great gratitude and appreciation for all service men and women. He is truly thankful for their service and worthy of this award.

Last year's winner was former Bear and current Carolina Panther Jared Allen, and former Bear Charles Tillman, who is also a current Panther, won the award in 2012.

If Slauson wins, does that mean he ends up in Carolina next season?

Check out the full list of nominees below.

Arizona Cardinals - Larry Fitzgerald Jr. (WR)

Atlanta Falcons - Dan Quinn (Head Coach)

Baltimore Ravens - Steve Smith Sr. (WR)

Buffalo Bills - Manny Lawson (LB)

Carolina Panthers - Ron Rivera (Head Coach)

Chicago Bears - Matt Slauson (G/C)

Cincinnati Bengals - Johanna Kappner (Finance Employee)

Cleveland Browns - Alex Mack (C)

Dallas Cowboys - Darren Woodson (Former S)

Denver Broncos - Malik Jackson (DE)

Green Bay Packers - Zeke Bratkowski (Former QB)

Houston Texans - Brian Cushing (LB)

Indianapolis Colts - Pat McAfee (P)

Jacksonville Jaguars* - Roy Miller (DT)*

Jacksonville Jaguars* - Matthew Smiley (Assistant Special Teams Coach)*

Kansas City Chiefs - Mike DeVito (DE)

Miami Dolphins - Jason Fox (OT)

New England Patriots - Robert Kraft (Owner)

New Orleans Saints - Sean Payton (Head Coach)

New York Giants - Tom Coughlin (Head Coach)

New York Jets - Eric Decker (WR)

Oakland Raiders - Napoleon McCallum (Former RB)

Philadelphia Eagles - Zach Ertz (TE)

Pittsburgh Steelers - Alejandro Villanueva (OT)

St. Louis Rams - Jeff Fisher (Head Coach)

San Francisco 49ers - Torrey Smith (WR)

San Diego Chargers - Mike McCoy (Head Coach)

Seattle Seahawks - Jermaine Kearse (WR)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Vincent Jackson (WR)

Washington Redskins - Andre Roberts (WR)

* The Jaguars submitted two nominees.

To learn more about all the nominees, you can visit's Salute To Service page.

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