Chargers honor the military with 'Salute to Service'

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Chargers held a "Salute to Service" at Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

All eyes were off the field when the former Navy SEALs parachute team parachuted into Qualcomm Stadium and onto the field. It was all to honor military families throughout San Diego County and beyond.

After the first quarter, fans near the field turned over cards to reveal the words "thank you veterans" and "thank you military" and the image of an American Flag to commemorate the annual Salute to Service game.

All military branches were represented and were grateful for the Chargers and fans' support.

"It makes you feel proud of what we do," said Amy Johnson, who is with the National Guard. "Not every day is the easiest day when you are in the military. You do make a lot of extra sacrifices, but at the end of the day when you see people thanking you and responding to what you do and why we do it, it's very special."

For the second consecutive season, teams will designate one home game in November to honor the military. For every point scored in the NFL's 32 Salute to Service games, the league will donate $100 each to the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and Wounded Warrior Project.

Pat Tillman put his NFL career on hold in 2002 to join the U.S. Army. Following his death while serving with the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan, his family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides resources and educational scholarship support to veterans, active-duty service members and their spouses.

The Chargers encouraged fans to bring non-perishable food to help families in economic distress and bolster the low food supply at the San Diego Food Bank. The fan bringing in the most food will receive a football signed by Chargers star tight end Antonio Gates.

Fans unable to attend the game can place items in red bins located in supermarkets throughout San Diego County.

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