FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Nov 6, 2009) - In recognition of Veteran's Day, the Patriots will honor veterans and active military at Sunday's game versus the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium.
In coordination with The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, the Wounded Warrior Project and Walter Reed, the Patriots will host 20 veterans/active military as guests at the game, including two Patriots alumni, Tom Yewcic (1961-66) and Butch Mahoney (1961). The veterans/active military represent World War II, Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf War and the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group will attend the Patriots' VIP Tailgate Party, be recognized on the field prior to the game, participate in the color guard/anthem ceremony, and two members of the group will serve as honorary captains for the coin toss.
"We are honored to host these heroes as our guests at the game as a small token of gratitude for their service," said New England Patriots Charitable Foundation President Josh Kraft. "It is important-not just on Veteran's Day but every day-to thank those who served our country and to keep the men and women currently in the line of duty at the forefront of our thoughts."
"As a care and research collaborator with the military and the first rehabilitation hospital in New England to treat soldiers, Spaulding's has worked closely with these inspiring heroes. We thank the Patriots Charitable Foundation and the Kraft Sports Group for their unwavering support of our wounded warriors," said Spaulding spokesman Tim Sullivan.
"We are very pleased to be a part of the military recognition activities the Patriots have planned for game day," said Steve Nardizzi, executive director of the Wounded Warrior Project. "Collaborating with other veterans' service organizations is extremely important to help meet the increasing needs of those now returning home with severe injuries. The opportunity to work with the New England Patriots, who are so well-known for their community endeavors, will certainly help raise awareness of our mission and the men and women we are privileged to serve."
Also as part of Veterans Day recognitions at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, Voices of Freedom will sing the national anthem, the Color Guard will be presented by the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment Honor Guard and a pregame fly-over will be conducted by four Blackhawk Helicopters from 3rd Battalion 126th Aviation based in Westfield, Mass.
ABOUT THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the non-profit organization established by the Kraft family in 1994 to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. The Foundation's primary goal is to support programs that aid the youth and families of the New England region by assisting programs that foster cultural diversity, education, family and health. This support comes in the form of direct grants and the donation of signed memorabilia to charitable causes, and from Patriots players who offer their direct support by appearing at charity functions throughout the year. For more information, please visit www.Patriots.com/Community.
ABOUT THE SPAULDING REHABILITATION HOSPITAL
A member of Partners HealthCare, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital is the flag ship facility of the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, which includes the Spaulding main campus, a 196-bed facility, located in Boston, MA, Shaughnessy-Kaplan Rehabilitation Hospital three skilled nursing facilities: North End Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Boston Center for Rehabilitation and Sub-Acute Care, and the Clark House, as well as sixteen outpatient sites throughout the Greater Boston area. Spaulding is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School as well as the official rehabilitation hospital of the New England Patriots. Spaulding is the only rehabilitation hospital in New England continually ranked since 1995 by U.S. News and World Report in its Best Hospitals survey. For more information, please visit www.spauldingrehab.org.
ABOUT THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service members, to help severely injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.