The Chicago Bears have nominated former fullback Jason McKie for the 2017 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. Each of the 32 NFL teams nominate one player, coach, personnel or alumni who “demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community.”
The finalists will be announced in January, with the winner being recognized on February 3 at NFL Honors, which is a two-hour primetime awards special to air the night before Super Bowl LII, from 8-10 PM (ET and PT) on NBC.
According to the NFL pres release, “since 2011, more than $17 million has been raised through Salute to Service to support the league's military nonprofit partners”
Here’s a little something from the NFL about Jason McKie.
As an active player, Jason was dedicated to giving back to men and women in the armed forces, and he continues that work as a retired player. Jason's father served for 21 years in the Air Force, and was in the Pentagon at the time of the September 11 attacks. In 2008, Jason launched the Jason McKie Foundation (JMF) of the Institute for Science and Health which focuses on programs in the areas of education and wellness, with an emphasis on making an impact in the lives of families of soldiers. The Foundation provides educational scholarships to children and spouses affected by a loss or severely injured parents or spouses.
Through the Foundation, Jason also hosts various activities with military families to give back to those who give so much to our country. Throughout this past year, the JMF was able to provide emergency assistance to Army Ranger Joseph Naylor and his family. Through their program, "Operation Care Package," they sent care packages overseas to soldiers serving in the Army deployed in Kuwait and Afghanistan. Last November, the Jason McKie Foundation was represented in Iraq as it's banner flew with the Army during missions. Stateside, the Foundation hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for active and retired military. They also hosted a paintball tournament with Chicago athletes vs. "GI Joes". Active and retired Special Forces members, along with first responders, helped raise money to help fund military service dog's medical expenses. Retired Army Ranger Joe Trainor Jr. and his service dog "CT," received financial assistance from the JMF for CT's hip replacement surgery. The Foundation annually goes shopping for military children of Marine Air Control Group 48 (MAC48) and delivers toys locally on Great Lakes Naval Base.
Additionally, JMF sponsors field trips to the Chicago Bears Training Camp for military kids as part of the Kids Rank organization. Ten kids through the program are also sponsored to take part in an All Pro Sports Performance week long summer camp. Aside from the great work with his foundation, Jason continues to support the Bears community initiatives and has done so by attending our Teen/Tween events with the USO. Children from military families are treated to fun activities quarterly and Jason has attended many over the years.