The Cleveland Browns will highlight their year-round commitment local and national military appreciation by honoring active military members, veterans and their families throughout Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12 as part of the NFL's Salute to Service initiative held throughout November. This year's game is presented by CrossCountry Mortgage, the official mortgage partner of the Cleveland Browns, which is actively engaged in the team's tributes to servicemen and servicewomen during Salute to Service and through other military-focused initiatives.
Cleveland are recognizing individuals and veterans from each military branch, as well as their family members, throughout November and Sunday's game. The team will incorporate various in-stadium gameday elements honoring local heroes, as well as host representatives from USO Ohio, one of the Browns' First and Ten community partners.
Prior to kickoff, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Simon – a North Canton, Ohio native who served 19 years in the Marines – will be the team's First and Ten Coin Toss Captain. The national anthem will be sung by retired Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson, complemented by a flyover of U.S. Army Helicopters from the Ohio Army National Guard 1-137th Aviation Regiment, and the country's colors will be presented by the United States Coast Guard Ceremonial Honor Guard. More than 60 CrossCountry Mortgage veterans will also hold the on-field American flag during the moment.
As has been done at each home game since the national tragedy of 9/11, the team will once again salute individuals who protect the country and the local community through the Hats Off to Heroes Honor Row, which recognizes military members, police, firefighters, first responders and other local heroes through Browns Give Back. This week's moment will feature members of the Marines.
During halftime, the Browns will help showcase a presentation by the United States Coast Guard Silent Drill Team.
Browns fans can also participate in the efforts through Sunday's Browns Give Back First and Ten Toy Drive, in partnership with US Marines and Electronic Merchant Systems. Everyone is encouraged to bring new unwrapped gifts ($10+) for kids in need within Cuyahoga County or make a monetary donation at the gates when entering the stadium.
The Browns were proud to nominate Pro Bowl G Wyatt Teller as the team's 2022 Salute to ServiceAward _honoree, _whichannually recognizes NFL players, coaches, personnel and alumni who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community, as selected by NFL clubs. The son of retired Army Reserve Major Rick Teller, the back-to-back second-team All-Pro has consistently honored, empowered, and connected with the military community in Northeast Ohio since joining the franchise in 2019. In addition to regularly visiting with military members and veterans when onsite for events at the CrossCountry Mortgage Campus, Teller is an advocate for the Green Beret Foundation and will support efforts when the USS Cleveland is docked locally in 2024.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the Browns – including LB Sione Takitaki, DE Tommy Togiai and DE Chase Winovich – hosted a wheelchair flag football clinic and scrimmage at the Cleveland Heights Community Center for veterans in collaboration with Adaptive Sports Ohio and CrossCountry Mortgage.
The Browns, in partnership with Elk & Elk and USO Ohio, earlier this month welcomed volunteers at FirstEnergy Stadium to assemble more than 300 care packages that will be distributed to Northeast Ohio servicemembers prior to their deployment. CB Martin Emerson Jr., WR Mike Harley and CB A.J. Greenwere among the group who participated to show their support. CrossCountry Mortgage, assisted by the Browns, also hosted a volunteering event to provide children of servicemembers with stuffed bears through Operation Gratitude.
Additionally, veterans who currently work for CrossCountry Mortgage were invited to a private dinner last week and were joined by CB Greg Newsome IIand Browns executives. CrossCountry Mortgage – which has hosted various community events and projects of its own and in collaboration with the Browns throughout Veterans Month that are dedicated to military appreciation – currently employs nearly 300 veterans.
The Salute to Service campaign aligns with a long-standing NFL tradition of supporting America's service branches, including a more than 50-year partnership with the USO that hosts overseas visits to troops and trips to military hospitals nationwide. RB Demetric Felton(2022),Browns Legends Joe Thomas(2010), RB Eric Metcalf(2013) and other former Browns personnel have participated in weeklong NFL-USO Tours, where they interacted with and thanked military personnel on multiple bases overseas.
Each year, the NFL and its 32 teams come together to honor members of the military as part of the NFL's Salute to Servicecampaign. The league's year-round military appreciation efforts culminate in November with NFL Salute to Service games and other special events honoring veterans, active-duty service members and their families.
Salute to Service is a year-round effort to honor, empower, and connect the nation's service members, veterans and their families. It is grounded in deep partnership with non-profits and organizations focused on the military community in the United States and across the world. The NFL extends its appreciation of the military community through special moments of recognition at games and events, as well as visits to military bases both domestically and internationally throughout the year.
The NFL, along with its teams and partners, is proud to support five core partners through Salute to Service:the Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF), Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), United Service Organizations (USO), Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF), and Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Since 2011, more than $58 million has been raised for the league's military nonprofit partners.
*About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back: *The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team's signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
Education –The Cleveland Browns are dedicated to improving the quality of education for students in Ohio by making investments that keep kids in school every day so they can succeed, highlighted by the Stay in the Game! Keep Learning, Every Day Network. The Stay in the Game Network is a statewide initiative designed to promote the importance of school attendance and put an end to chronic absenteeism through a partnership between the Cleveland Browns Foundation, Ohio Department of Education and Harvard University's Proving Ground, as well as the Columbus Crew. The team engages local school districts and promotes quality education by using attendance data and feedback from families to build a school-going culture, uncover and reduce common barriers to attendance and support engagement opportunities for students to thrive. In the 2022-23 school year, the Stay in the Game! Network will partner with 17 school districts, benefitting more than 150,000 students in Ohio. No matter the circumstances, the Stay in the Game! Network will continue to encourage and support students to maintain a strong educational-going mindset to keep learning, every day, aligned with its overall goal to help end chronic absenteeism and provide all students equal opportunities to be successful. To learn more visit, visit StayinTheGame.org.
Youth Football– The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns' goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.
First and Ten –Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to #give10 and help their communities by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. To date, more than 2.75 million hours of volunteering have been pledged through First and Ten. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.
*About CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC: *CrossCountry Mortgage (CCM) is one of the nation's largest retail mortgage lenders, with more than 8,000 employees operating more than 600 branches across all 50 states. Our company has been recognized nine times on the Inc. 5000 list of America's fastest growing private businesses and has received many awards for our standout culture. We offer more than 100 mortgage, refinance and home equity solutions – ranging from conventional and jumbo mortgages to government-insured programs for Veterans and rural homebuyers – and we are a direct lender and approved seller and servicer by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and Ginnie Mae. Through our dedication to getting it done, we make every mortgage feel like a win. Visit ccm.com
*About USO Ohio: *Since 1941, USO Ohio has served as a private, civilian 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that receives no direct government funding but relies solely on the generosity of corporations, organizations and the American people. USO Ohio touches the lives of nearly 50,000 active duty, guard and reserve military and their families throughout the 31-county region. For more than 75 years, USO Ohio has provided morale, recreation and social services to US Armed Forces personnel and their families through its programs and services. USONO Center facilities are located in the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), Cleveland Hopkins Airport, the NOSC in Toledo, Youngstown Air Reserve Station and care package processing center in Warren. The network of hundreds of volunteers donates nearly 20,000 hours of service annually in honor of these brave men and women.