Salute to Service presented by USAA | Houston Texans - HoustonTexans.com

Salute to Service presented by USAA

The Texans were the first team in the NFL to honor the armed forces with a dedicated Salute to Service game, starting a tradition that has been embraced throughout the league. The Texans proudly partner with organizations such as the USO, the Wounded Warrior Project, Tuesday's Children and T.A.P.S. to show appreciation throughout the year for our military heroes, their families and all those who served.

Salute to Service Game Presented by Bud Light

The Texans were the first team in the NFL to honor the armed forces with a dedicated Salute to Service game, starting a tradition that has been embraced throughout the league. At this year's game, Vietnam veteran Jack Gallagher of the Army was the Coin Toss Captain presented by USAA; World War II Army veteran Virgil Poe was the Homefield Advantage Captain; the nation's most prestigious college choir, the West Point Glee Club, performed the national anthem; and service members from the Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard participated virtually in the Texans tradition of "Deep in the Heart of Texas." At halftime, young Americans were sworn in to enlist in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. The game also included recognition of seven Chinese American World War II veterans who were recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal. Featured fan cutouts in the Houston Texans Fan Zone presented by Houston Methodist were members of the military and family members of Texans staff who served in the armed forces.

Texans, Touchdowns & Turkeys Presented by USAA

During Salute to Service Week presented by USAA, the Texans and USAA hosted a festive Thanksgiving giveaway for service members and their families. Texans Chairman and CEO Cal McNair, Vice President of the Foundation Hannah McNair, Cheerleaders and TORO provided Thanksgiving turkeys with all the fixings to 150 military families in a drive-thru event. Legends Robaire Smith, Earl Mitchell, Anthony Hill and Moran Norris also attended the event to show their appreciation for the service members and their families.

Pros vs GI Joes Presented by USAA

During Salute to Service Week presented by USAA, the Texans and USAA hosted Pros vs GI Joes at NRG Stadium. OL Tytus Howard, LB Tyrell Adams, OL Greg Mancz and RB Buddy Howell took on service members and veterans in a virtual game of Madden NFL 21. The players got to show their appreciation for these men and women serving our country while enjoying some friendly competition.

Salute to Service Moment Presented by USAA

At each Texans home game, a service member or veteran is recognized for his or her service to our country in the Salute to Service Moment. In addition to the in-game salute, each honoree receives tickets to the game, a customized game ball and recognition on HoustonTexans.com.

NFL Salute to service Award Presented by USAA

The NFL Salute to Service Award acknowledges the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support U.S. service members, veterans and their families. In 2020, the Texans nominated Chairman and CEO Cal McNair and Vice President of the Foundation Hannah McNair for their longtime commitment to military families. The McNairs have been steadfast in their support of the military, visiting veterans in the hospital, honoring service members on gameday and uplifting, inspiring, thanking and standing behind all those who serve.

USO Pregame Party Presented by Miller Lite

The Texans and Miller Lite hosted 100 USO Houston military members and their families on Zoom for a virtual pregame party. Each USO member received a gift bag filled with Texans and Miller Lite swag. Legends Wade Smith and Travis Johnson led a pregame chalk talk and Texans Trivia game for the USO members. In addition to the gifts, Miller Lite announced a $10,000 donation to USO Houston!

Operation Finally Home

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Stephen Netzley and his daughter Mrazy were surprised in November with the news they were receiving a mortgagefree home from Operation FINALLY HOME and the Texans. The Southeast Texas Patriot Guard Riders, TORO, Cheerleaders and representatives from the local homebuilders surprised Netzley with the news. The Texans award a home each year with Operation FINALLY HOME, a nonprofit that helps America's military heroes achieve the dream of homeownership. In February, the Texans helped break ground on the home and in April wrote inspirational words of support and encouragement on the studs of the home as part of the Notes of Love event before the family moved into their new house in July.

Crown Royal USO Donation

On behalf of Crown Royal's Purple Bag Project initiative, which provides care packages to soldiers stationed overseas stuffed in its iconic purple bags, the Texans and Crown Royal made a $20,000 donation to the USO during Salute to Service Week presented by USAA to help support our brave men and women serving our country. Crown Royal also took its Purple Bag Project virtual, allowing fans to send care packages with just a click through its website.

Military Family Combine Presented by Miller Lite

The Texans and Miller Lite hosted 20 military families from the USO at the Houston Methodist Training Center to celebrate the 2021 NFL Draft and the Month of the Military Child. Each family received a Texans and Miller Lite Draft gift bag and enjoyed inflatable games, lunch, music and more. Texans Co-Founder and Senior Chair Janice S. McNair, Chairman and CEO Cal McNair, Vice President of the Foundation Hannah McNair, DB Keion Crossen and Legends stopped by to visit with the families and thank them for all they do.

Vet Tix

Vet Tix provides tickets to events for veterans of the armed services, which helps reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build life-long memories and encourage service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities and American life. As a donation partner of the Texans, Vet Tix helps to provide unused game tickets to local military, veterans and their families in the Houston area.

T.A.P.S. Family Holiday Surprise Presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors

Academy Sports + Outdoors surprised one member of the T.A.P.S. family with a special holiday surprise. Melissa Alvidrez lost her brother, a Navy veteran, suddenly in 2015. She has channeled that pain into supporting other families who have lost a loved one by serving as a peer mentor through the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. Leading up to the holidays, Academy Sports + Outdoors got on a Zoom call with Alvidrez and her mother to tell her she had won a $1,000 shopping spree at Academy. When Alvidrez and her mom showed up at Academy, there was another surprise waiting for her: Legend Andre Johnson was there to welcome her and present her with the gift card along with a Texans prize pack.

Serving Those Who Serve Presented by United Airlines

The Texans and United Airlines have come together to provide members of the military with meals throughout the year through the Serving Those Who Serve initiative. On Veterans Day, United and the Texans visited the USO Lounge at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport to bring service members and volunteers with the USO lunch. In February, United and the Texans celebrated the USO's 80th birthday by providing 100 lunches to service members at the Rankin Road Armory.

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