Skip to main content
Website header - Chicago
Advertising

ChicagoBears.com | The Official Website of the Chicago Bears

STSmain

Bears celebrate Salute to Service at Soldier Field

Story by Gabby Hajduk, photos by Jacob Funk and MaryKate Drews

ChicagoBears.com highlights the team's efforts around Thursday night's Salute to Service game against the Panthers at Soldier Field.



To celebrate the NFL's annual Salute to Service initiative — which honors, empowers and connects fans with the nation's service members, veterans and their families —the Bears, in collaboration with USAA, made Thursday night's game a special event for all in attendance.

Along with all the special celebrations for the Salute to Service game, the Bears' stadium itself is dedicated to World War I U.S. soldiers and is a Chicago landmark. Fans can always explore the different ways Soldier Field honors veterans and service members, which includes the main dedication to soldiers at the south entrance, the historic colonnade level that features plaques honoring Illinois residents who have received the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Memorial Water Wall.

STSStadium

Stationed in the southeast lawn was the USO Mobile Vehicle, which provides service members support and a sense of community. The Salvation Army, who partners with the Bears for their annual Coat Drive, was also outside of Soldier Field collecting donations.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

Fans could also donate coats at Thursday's game.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

As fans made their way inside Soldier Field at 5:15 p.m., they were handed customized Salute to Service rally towels and met with a couple photo opportunities around the concourse, including at the Doughboy Statue, which honors World War I soldiers.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
_JF13032
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

The U.S. Army also had a group of representatives in the south courtyard.

STSarmy
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

The Road Home Program had staff stationed at the United Club Charity Table under the South escalator to distribute information about their services, which includes confidential mental health support for veterans and their families.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

During warmups and throughout the game, the Bears featured Salute to Service signage all across the field including in the end zone and the stands.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
_MD22697

Bears receiver DJ Moore met with military members prior to the game.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

During the pregame festivities, the Golden Knights — the U.S. Army Parachute Team — performed a night jump, creating illuminated visuals in the night sky as they fell from an aircraft onto the field.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

For player introductions, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Greg Bluethmann led the team out of the tunnel with the United States flag.

_MD16036
STSmain

U.S. Air Force veteran Mark J. Lindquist performed the national anthem and was accompanied by 80 military members on the field. The U.S. Transportation Command Joint Service Color Guard was present to represent all military branches. A fireworks display was also shown at the end of the national anthem.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
RK3_2948

The Bears named retired Army Sergeant Bryan Anderson Thursday's honorary captain. Anderson served two tours in Iraq and has received a purple heart. He accompanied captains Justin Fields, DJ Moore, Tremaine Edmunds and Eddie Jackson at midfield for the coin toss. He was joined by Retired United States Navy Command Master Chief Mike Magnetta of USAA Military Affairs and Commanding General of the U.S. Army, General Andrew Poppas.

_MD16097
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

Bears players and staff such as quarterback Tyson Bagent, long snapper Patrick Scales and assistant defensive backs coach David Overstreet II honored the initiative by sporting Salute to Service gear before and during the game.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

During timeouts or breaks in the game, the Soldier Field videoboard featured shoutouts for active military members worldwide.

Scoreboard

Later in the game, General Poppas was honored as the Boeing Military Salute recipient. He also met with Bears chairman George H. McCaskey.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

The U.S. Army Band "Downrange" served as the halftime performance.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.

Fans across the stadium made special signs and wore Salute to Service clothing to Soldier Field, expressing their support of the nation's service members, veterans and their families.

Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
_MD23134
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago Bears take on the Carolina Panthers, Thursday, November 9, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois.
back to top

Related Content

Advertising
Advertising