The Cleveland Browns 'Hats Off to Our Heroes' program is a signature program that focuses on recognizing and honoring local heroes for their service to our country during each home football game! This past week, Browns Alumni who also served in the military were honored during Honor Row at the Browns vs. Ravens game.
During this special Honor Row, Browns Alumni were honored during the September 18th game against the Baltimore Ravens. Honorees included Dick Schafrath (Air Force and National Guard veteran who played Guard for the Browns 1959-1971), Rich Mostardi (Army veteran who played defensive back for the Browns in 1960), Ernie Kellerman (National Guard veteran, who played safety from 1965-1971), Jamie Caleb (Army veteran, playing fullback in 1965), Ed Betteridge (National Guard veteran, who was a Browns linebacker in 1964) and Ben Davis (National Guard veteran, who played cornerback from 1967-1973) who were honored and applauded by fans at FirstEnergy Stadium. Waving, holding their hands across their hearts and shaking hands with fans who were thankful for their service, it was a moment that cannot be forgotten.
After the honorees attended the Sunday match up, Jamie Caleb, a veteran of the United States Army and who also played fullback in 1965 with the Browns said that "Being honored was great. Not everyone gets the honor of being a Browns Alumni as well and I am very fortunate. To be able to stand and have people respond to you the way they did was fantastic." Another honoree, Dick Schafrath, served in the Air Force right after attending Ohio State. "I went into the military months before I was drafted in the NFL and when I went to basic training and got drafted, they allowed me to play football for the Browns on the weekends. I needed to be cleared by the owners of each team we played against, and in my 13 years of playing in the NFL I only missed one game because of this." Dick continued on by saying that "When Honor Row started, I had always wanted to be a part of it and I am honored. I would do anything to honor the military and the men and women that protect our country"
Thank you to the many Browns Alumni who served our country! Your service is truly appreciated by not only Browns fans, but people everywhere!
The Browns are committed to supporting the military year round through the First and Ten movement. Learn more about the Browns Hats Off to Our Heroes program here! http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/community/hats-off-to-heros.html
Have you taken the Browns First and Ten pledge? Join the movement today: http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/community/firstandten.html
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*About Cleveland Browns First and Ten movement:
The Browns are dedicated to #give10 through the team's First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Since its inception, Browns fans have committed to volunteering more than 1 million hours to impact their communities by pledging to #give10. 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. 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.