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Bears to honor veterans, active military personnel

Posted Nov 10, 2012

As part of the NFL's Salute to Service recognition, the Bears are proud to welcome and honor veterans and active military personnel through a variety of initiatives at Sunday night's game against the Houston Texans at Soldier Field.

As part of the NFL's Salute to Service recognition, the Bears are proud to welcome and honor veterans and active military personnel through a variety of initiatives at Sunday night's game against the Houston Texans at Soldier Field. The historic colonnades will feature red, white and blue lighting and fans will receive American flags upon entry compliments of Boeing.

The Bears will provide all veterans and active servicemen and servicewomen attending Sunday night's game with a voucher for complimentary food and non-alcoholic beverage items. To receive the voucher, participants are asked to visit one of the team's Fan Services Booths located throughout the stadium or one of the Concierge Desks located on either end of the United Club 100 Level. To qualify, participants are asked to present their military ID, Veteran's Administration card or their DD Form 214 as proof of service.

The team will host a pregame forum that will bring together former Bears players, medical personnel and members of the military to discuss concussion/traumatic brain injury (TBI). The forum will take place in the Bears postgame interview room from 5- 6 pm and is open to media. The panel will include Bears President and CEO Ted Phillips, former Bears Otis Wilson and Gary Fencik, Lieutenant General Michael Ferriter, Colonel Andrea Crunkhorn and Dr. Elizabeth M. Pieroth. Soldiers from the United States Army will also be in attendance. This event is part of the NFL's partnership with the U.S. Army to promote positive culture change regarding head injuries in both organizations. The forum will focus on the work the NFL and Army are doing together to promote positive culture change and reduce stigma related to head injuries.

During pregame, the National Anthem will be performed by the West Point Glee Club - the Knight Caps. During the Anthem, a large American flag plus 6 stars representing the 5 different branches plus POW/MIA will be held by over 100 active duty members of the military. The Bears Honorary Captains for the coin toss will be Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and General Ray Johns, Commander, Air Mobility Command.

During halftime, the USO will address the fans, veterans and military personnel in attendance. Staff Sergeant Daniel Douglas, Illinois Army National Guard, will receive the Purple Heart for wounds received in action. Staff Sergeant Matthew J. Bracken, U.S. Army Special Forces Command, will receive the Bronze Star with Valor Medal for exceptionally valorous conduct in the face of the enemy of the United States.

The Bears and Boeing will premiere a special music video saluting troops At Home and Away. The Army will conduct a reenlistment ceremony.

The Bears/Boeing Military Salute in the third quarter will honor retired Navy Lieutenant Robert Fash, Sr., Veteran of WWII. The salute takes place at each Bears home game where a deserving member of the military is honored during an on-field presentation. The Military Salute provides the opportunity for the Bears, Boeing and fans to give thanks and show support to the brave men and women who protect our country, while honoring the history and heritage of Soldier Field.

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