FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (November 6, 2012) – The Patriots will thank and honor veterans and active duty military members in several activities at their game against the Buffalo Bills on November 11. The activities are in recognition of Veteran's Day and as part of the Patriots Charitable Foundation's week-long focus on "Veteran and Military Volunteerism" in conjunction with the team's ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.
In a pregame ceremony, more than 100 active military members, representing each branch of the military and Coast Guard, will join members of the Kraft family, Patriots alumni and cheerleaders to display a large American flag that will spread the entire length of the field.
"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 with events throughout the week, including a pregame Salute to Service on Sunday that will include representatives from each branch of military. It's always great to give our fans an opportunity to show their appreciation to these real Patriots heroes."
The game will also feature a flyover from 439 Airlift Wing in Westover, Mass., a Color Guard ceremony performed by the Army National Guard and national anthem sung by the 215th Army Band's Voices of Freedom. During the game, all service men and women will be asked to stand and be recognized and messages from military members serving oversees will be played in-game on the video boards.
Prior to Sunday's game, the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation and $25,000 grand prize 2012 Myra Kraft Community MVP Award Winner Lou Cimaglia from Local Heroes, will join Patriots partner Raytheon for a military care package event during Raytheon's pregame hospitality in The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon. More than 150 veterans and their families will attend. Guests will have the opportunity to create a care package, as well as write a personalized message for troops serving overseas. Throughout the weekend, veterans and active military can enjoy a free trip to The Hall. From Friday, Nov. 10 through Monday, Nov. 12, The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon will offer free admission to all veterans and active military with their military ID.
Also in recognition of Veterans Day, on Friday the Patriots will unveil a permanently unoccupied black seat in the south end of Gillette Stadium that will be dedicated to the thousands of Patriots who remain unaccounted for as POW/MIA. Footage from the ceremony will be shown during the game. The empty seat will serve as a permanent memorial to honor the brave men and women who served our country and never returned home.
Sunday's game is the culmination of the Patriots Charitable Foundation's week-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. Organizations include Raytheon in cooperation with the Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Christmas Cards, Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund and Local Heroes.
The Celebrate Volunteerism campaign aims to share examples of dedicated volunteers, build awareness of the need for volunteering, identify and educate others about volunteer opportunities and inspire New Englanders to become life-long volunteers.
Fans are encouraged to personally go out into the community and make a difference by pledging volunteer hours by visiting www.patriots.com/community, where they can also print an official Patriots Celebrate Volunteerism certificate. Fans can also submit photos holding their Celebrate Volunteerism certificate while participating in their volunteer work to CharitableEvents@patriots.com.
For more information about the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, including resources and information about volunteering, the "Patriots Difference Maker" award, and to join the Celebrate Volunteerism movement by pledging volunteer hours, visit www.patriots.com/community.
PATRIOTS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION CELEBRATE VOLUNTEERISM WEEKLY SCHEDULE:
Week - Volunteerism Weekly Focus
September 9 Service Projects Volunteerism
September 16 Education Volunteerism
September 23 Public Service Volunteerism
September 30 Youth Sports Volunteerism
October 7 Healthcare Volunteerism
October 14 Environmental Volunteerism
October 21 Global Give Back Volunteerism
October 28 Arts Volunteerism
November 4 Military and Veteran Volunteerism
November 11 Violence, Drug Prevention, Bullying Awareness
November 18 Hunger Awareness Volunteerism
November 25 Mentoring Awareness Volunteerism
December 2 Exercise and Healthy Eating Volunteerism
December 9 Homelessness Awareness Volunteerism
December 16 Holiday Giving Awareness Volunteerism
December 23 Senior Advocate Volunteerism
December 30 Celebrate Volunteerism Celebration
ABOUT THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the nonprofit organization established by the Kraft family in 1994 to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants and the donation of signed memorabilia to charitable causes, as well as from Patriots players who offer their support by appearing at charity functions throughout the year. In 2012, the Foundation will work to raise volunteerism awareness through the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative. For more information about the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, please visit www.patriots.com/community.