Earlier today the NFL announced the 32 individuals that have been nominated for their 11th annual Salute to Service Award that is presented by USAA, and the Chicago Bears nominated tight end Jimmy Graham. Nominees are “members of the NFL community to honor and support U.S. service members, veterans and their families.”
“Now more than ever, it’s essential that our nation come together to support and show appreciation for those Americans who are serving and have served our country, as well as their families,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Bird, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs via the league’s press release. “This year’s nominees for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA all deserve special recognition for stepping up to support our military community, and we are encouraged to see this list of diverse nominees coming from all areas of the NFL organization.”
Here’s the write up on Graham from NFL.com.
Jimmy Graham continues to focus is giving on support for the men and women who serve and have served in the United States military, as he has done throughout his NFL career. The mission of The Jimmy Graham Foundation is to provide life-changing and impactful experiences through the freedom of flight. To recognize the accomplishments and sacrifices of veterans of all eras and provide flights for unfamiliar and underprivileged youth as an introduction to aviation. Jimmy takes veterans up in his two US Army aircraft restorations - a 1957 de Havilland Beaver and 1967 UH1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter. The Huey served as a part of the 170th Assault Helicopter Company. Both aircraft fought in the Vietnam War, and they are the cornerstone of his giving back to our country.
This past year The Jimmy Graham Foundation provided over 50 rides to veterans in South Florida. A particularly special flight was with Tee Sifford, a pilot and purple heart veteran from the Vietnam war. The Jimmy Graham Foundation has also partnered with Luna Cafe in Wisconsin to sell the “Huey Blend” coffee which supports The Jimmy Graham Foundation - www.lunacafe.com/products/jimmygraham. Additionally, he donates tickets to each 2021 Bears home game for the Bears’ Boeing Military Salute honoree. During every game an extraordinary service member is recognized in-game and then enjoys watching the Bears from seats, compliments of Jimmy. It is an honor for the Bears to recognize Jimmy for his continued commitment to the military community and nominate him for the NFL Salute to Service Award.
Finalists for the Award will be announced in January, with the recipient being announced at NFL Honors, which is their a primetime awards special that airs nationally the week of Super Bowl LVI.