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Browns salute those who serve

Posted Nov 4, 2013

The Cleveland Browns show their appreciation for the United States Armed Forces through year-round support of those who serve.

Since returning to the National Football League in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have proudly supported those who serve in the United States military, and that commitment to those on the frontlines of battle extended to Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.

As part of the NFL’s annual Salute to Service Weekend, the Browns honored those who have served or are currently serving at home and abroad. Also, each of the Browns’ players had helmet stickers representing every branch of the military, and the goal post pads will be covered in camouflage.

“The entire Browns organization is extremely proud and grateful for the dedication and service of those who serve our country and local communities,” said Jenner Tekancic, director of community relations for the Browns. “Through our Hats Off to Our Heroes program, we have been able to pay tribute to several individuals, and throughout the year, the Cleveland Browns’ players and coaches extend their appreciation for their commitment.

“Through Salute to Service, we are very proud to recognize and work alongside the USO of Northern Ohio, as well as the Wounded Warrior Project, to make sure we are bringing in remarkable individuals who have served our country throughout the year and beyond. We’ll have some of these individuals join us on the field during pregame ceremonies and know they represent so many others who have demonstrated incredible commitment and sacrifice.”

In addition to the Salute to Service game, the Browns have honored those who serve with visits to the local USO, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Cleveland Military Entrance Processing Station (M.E.P.S.).

The Browns have also taken their support of the military abroad with multiple visits to the Middle East over the past four years.

“Annually, during the offseason, the Browns’ players have had the distinct opportunity to travel overseas through the USO’s All-Star Tour that’s in partnership with the NFL, and they’ve had incredible experiences,” Tekancic said. “From Joe Thomas to Alex Mack, D’Qwell Jackson and even Eric Metcalf, they have been able to board a plane, travel overseas and really reach those individuals and show our support directly while they’re on the frontlines of battle.

“The one thing we hear from those players when they do return from the trip is that it was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they’re extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to extend their appreciation in person. The players, and the entire organization, are truly grateful for those who serve our country and understand they make sacrifices to be away from their families and loved ones to serve our country.”