Head coach Gary Kubiak led the Texans in an offseason salute to the military on Saturday morning at Mercer Stadium in Sugar Land.
Kubiak was the honorary chairman of the Impact A Hero 5k Run/Walk/Wheel race, an event that supports seriously wounded veterans of the War on Terror.
"(This is) five years for me being involved," Kubiak said. "I've watched it grow from very small to a pretty big event right now. It's just about really, to me, saying thank you to these veterans and what they do and showing our support and obviously, you can see (Saturday) it was pretty strong."
Support from Kubiak and the Texans has helped the event grow by leaps and bounds in recent years. More than 1,700 people participated on Saturday, with an additional 900 doing a "shadow run" in Iraq.
The event raised more than $218,000 for wounded veterans, dozens of whom were there on Saturday. Some were bound to wheelchairs, some were missing limbs and some had serious burn injuries, but Kubiak noted that they shared an inspiringly upbeat spirit.
"It's amazing, their outlook," he said. "They're so positive and so strong in what they do, and I think that has a lot to do with the support system that's around them. I've had a couple of them come talk to our players a few times and they're just great examples of staying positive in everything you do, and in our business that's very important."
After the 7:30 a.m. 5k was completed, Kubiak and several Texans players signed autographs for approximately one hour.
"It's great to be here," cornerback Glover Quin said. "We love the troops and we support the troops. I actually have a brother-in-law that's actually in the Army, so it's big for the troops. Anything we can do to support these guys and show them that we appreciate them, we're willing to do it."
Before the autograph session began, guard Mike Brisiel could be found sitting directly in front of a large box fan, doing his best to cool off after running in the sun. The offensive lineman estimated that he finished the 3.1-mile race in 33 minutes.
"I'm not a runner," Brisiel said with a laugh. "I don't think there are too many 300-plus pounders out there running. I was struggling, that's for sure. But it's for a good cause, so I had fun."
Safety Dominique Barber was the fastest Texans player in the race, finishing with an estimated time of 23:30. Other players who attended were wide receiver Glenn Martinez, quarterback Dan Orlovsky and running back Steve Slaton.
"I give them a four-day weekend, and most of those guys want to get out of town; we've been working really hard," Kubiak said. "But we had some guys show up (Saturday), and the Texans organization has been very supportive of the Impact A Hero Foundation, so I'm very proud of our organization and the way it supports it."
The Texans Cheerleaders, Texans mascot TORO and several members of the team's administrative staff also were at the event, along with assistant coaches Rick Dennison, David Gibbs, John Benton, Chick Harris, Frank Pollack, Robert Saleh and Marc Lubick.