The Washington Redskins and USAA, the Official Salute to Service Partner of the Washington Redskins, continued their tradition of honoring our nation's veterans and active duty military by kicking off the month with #RedskinsSalute week. Here's a recap of everything that ocurred.
On Oct. 30, USAA hosted a unit interaction at the Pentagon where Redskins players toured the facility and experienced the daily responsibilities of the base. Leading up to Sunday's game, Redskins alumni made surprise appearances across the DMV and gave away signed Redskins merchandise and gear.
Prior to kickoff, the Redskins presented a special military challenge coin designed and created by USAA for use in the official coin toss. In what has become a long-standing tradition, challenge coins are given by one member of the military to another to reward or encourage excellence, boost morale or to recognize fellow brothers- or sisters-in-arms.
During halftime of Sunday's game, a vignette showcasing all Redskins Salute military events and initiatives, sponsored by USAA, was displayed on the HD video boards. In addition to the tributes, the following Salute to Service elements as well as pregame and in-game ceremonies occurred and recognized veterans and current members of America's Armed Forces:
- The back of the end zones featured Salute to Service goal post wraps, pylons with camouflage ribbon decals and wall banners.
- The USO-Metro Club presented by Lockheed Martin (located across from Section 109 on the main concourse) opened two hours before kickoff to all ticket holders with military IDs or current Redskins Salute members.
- A service member participated in the team tunnel flag run-out during team introduction.
- 150 service members participated in the pregame flag unfurling.
- Daniel Cortez, retired United States Marine from Virginia and descendant of the Tolteca Aztec Indian tribe, led fans in the fight song.
- The military provided a unit flyover at the conclusion of the National Anthem.
- A Black Hawk helicopter was on display in the RedZone lot with additional military vehicles around the stadium.
- The Military Order of the Purple Heart hosted a recognition of Purple Heart recipients at halftime.
- A United States Army Enlistment Ceremony took place during halftime officiated by the Deputy Director of the Army National Guard.
The Redskins and USAA have joined forces throughout 2018 to recognize veterans and active duty service members, as well as connect local military with the team.
At the Redskins' Training Camp in August, USAA hosted an NFL Boot Camp for local military on the practice field followed by a VIP viewing of the team's practice. During the preseason, USAA and the team hosted a base practice at Joint Base Andrews, where military members were invited to a viewing of the walk-through with a post-practice autograph session.