On a hot and humid 99-degree day in suburban Lake Forest, the Chicago Bears welcomed about 100 locally based military service members, many of whom had just recently finished basic training from the nearby Naval Station Great Lakes.
The first-ever Salute to Service NFL Boot Camp was co-hosted by USAA, and it took place inside the Walter Payton Center at Halas Hall. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for about 50 sailors as they went through NFL Combine-style drills such as the 40-yard dash, broad jump, three-cone shuttle, receiving gauntlet, and the quarterback arm challenge.
The invited military personnel competed in teams to earn prizes, and they were also privy to a behind-the-scenes tour of Halas Hall.
Today was the first-ever official partnership between the Bears and USAA, but they plan to co-host more military appreciation events now that the USAA has been designated as Chicago’s Official Salute to Service Partner.
Throughout the season, USAA and the Bears will host other events to foster an understanding and appreciation for the local military community, bringing our military closer to the game and team they love.
At the conclusion of the Boot Camp, the service members received a surprise visit from former Bears fullback Jason McKie, whose father served in the Air Force for 22 years.
For more on USAA and their work with the NFL, hit the link in the Tweet below.
100 service members from Naval Station Great Lakes attended USAA’s #SaluteToService Boot Camp with the @ChicagoBears today, where they competed in the same combine drills used to evaluate @NFL talent. Learn more about how USAA and the NFL honor our military at… pic.twitter.com/KgNDWdscDM— USAA (@USAA) August 24, 2023