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NFL announces nominees for 12th annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA

See all the nominees for the 12th annual Salute to Service Award and vote at from now until November 30.

The Houston Texans Cheerleaders don't just brighten up gamedays at NRG Stadium. They've gone above and beyond for the men and women of our nation's armed forces. So much so, that they are the franchise's nominees for the annual Salute to Service Award.

The honor recognizes NFL players, coaches, staff and alumni "with demonstrable commitment to honoring and supporting military and veteran communities, as nominated by NFL clubs."

The Houston Texans Cheerleaders have always dedicated their time and talents to honoring service members. Since the franchise's inception, the Houston Texans Cheerleaders have dedicated their time and talents to honoring service members by supporting United Service Organizations (USO), Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Operation Finally Home, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Tuesday's Children and many others.

In 2019, the Texans Cheerleaders traveled overseas with Armed Forces Entertainment, headlining the Salute to Service Super Bowl 10-day Tour. They visited the Al Dahfra Air Force Base in the United Arab Emirates, as well as bases in Qatar, and Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The tour featured the Texans Cheerleaders along with four Texans Legends who performed 60-minute shows.

The Cheerleaders spent time getting to know the service members and hearing their stories, going on base tours, going through simulation exercises, playing flag football and sitting down to listen as they spoke about their friends and families back home.

Supporting women veterans is a cause that is of particular importance to the Texans Cheerleaders. Prior to the pandemic, Texans Cheerleaders and alumni of the program volunteered with the Women of the Armed Forces and Veteran Empowerment (W.A.V.E.) Campaign to package and distribute much-needed undergarments, pajamas and comfort items to women receiving treatment in the local Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital.

Additional events include visiting the USO Center at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport to deliver meals to service members and volunteers, stepping up to distribute turkeys and Thanksgiving meals to families at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, providing lunches for National Guard and Army Reserve troops coming home, and welcoming back 120 service members from a nine-month overseas deployment.

New this year is an opportunity for fans to vote for their favorite nominee, which will help determine the award's three finalists. To see all the nominees and vote, fans can visit from now until November 30. One vote per day, per fan is permitted.

The finalists will be announced in January, and the recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally in February during the week of Super Bowl LVII.

Last year's award recipient was Andrew Beck, Denver Broncos Tight End. Beck will serve on the award panel that selects the 2022 Salute to Service Award recipient once the three finalists are determined via the fan vote.

Additional panel members include Chad Hennings, Air Force Academy graduate and three-time Super Bowl champion; Jim Mora, Sr., Marine Corps veteran and former NFL head coach; Lenny Bandy, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and NFL Vice President of Security; and Vice Admiral (Ret.) John Bird, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs.

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