FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots will thank and honor veterans and active duty military members with several initiatives at Gillette Stadium in their night game against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Nov. 24. The activities are in recognition of Veteran's Day and a part of the Patriots Charitable Foundation's month-long Salute to Service and "Veteran and Military Volunteerism" in conjunction with the team's ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.
"I consider our veterans and active duty soldiers as the true unsung heroes of our country," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "We look forward to honoring our military Sunday night with a Salute to Service that will include representatives from each branch of military. It's always great to give Patriots fans an opportunity to show their appreciation to these real Patriots."
Raytheon will host 150 veterans from Wounded Warriors and Student Veterans of America in The Hall at Patriot Place prior to the in-stadium pregame festivities. The guests will tour The Hall during a hospitality event that features Patriots Hall of Fame Player Gino Cappelletti.
In a pregame ceremony, the Pats will unfurl a 100-yard flag that covers the entire field. Members of the Patriots organization along with150 veterans and active military members, including Raytheon guests from Wounded Warriors and Student Veterans of America, will hold the flag during the ceremony. Three Army National Guard servicemen will lead the team from the tunnel carrying American flags.
The National Anthem will be sung by Army National Guard Major Jerome "Scott" Loring. Major Loring is a New Hampshire Army National Guardsman with more than 29 years of service. He is currently serving on active duty with the Army National Guard's Operation team at the Army's Cadet Command Headquarters in Fort Knox, KY. Patriots tackle Nate Solder's father, Ed, will serve as an honorary captain and participate in the pregame coin toss. Ed is a Naval Academy graduate and served in the Navy for 13 years, including a tour of duty in Vietnam as a helicopter and jet pilot.
During the game, all service men and women will be asked to stand and be recognized. Messages from military members serving overseas will be played on the video boards. Throughout the game there will be live look-ins of a group of military watching and cheering on the Patriots from Afghanistan, as well as several messages recorded by Patriots players thanking the service men and women for their service.
In a special ceremony, the Patriots will honor United States Army Staff Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne, who was injured during his tour of duty in Afghanistan. He is one of only five quadruple amputees from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries. At the end of the first quarter, there will be a video trailer of his documentary entitled, Travis Mills, A Soldier's Story. Mills we be introduced and walk onto the field with his family once the trailer concludes. Sunday's game is the culmination of the Patriots Charitable Foundation's month-long focus on veteran and military volunteerism. The Foundation works in cooperation with organizations that support community outreach for veterans and members of the armed services.