The Chicago Bears are dedicated to supporting the men and women in the United States Military, and our ties date back to when our founder, George S. Halas, served in the U.S. Navy during both World War I and World War II. We are proud to continue this tradition through numerous programs and initiatives that provide support and show our sincere gratitude to those who serve our country and protect our freedom.
One way that we honor our veterans and current members of the U.S. Military is through the Bears/Boeing Military Salute. We were proud to once again partner with Boeing and the USO of Illinois to present the Military Salute during the 2014 Bears season. As part of this program, a deserving member of the military was honored during an on-field recognition at each home game, providing the opportunity for the Bears, Boeing and our great fans to give thanks and show support to those who protect our country.
Tickets for the military representative and their guests were generously provided by cornerback Kyle Fuller, the 2012 NFL Salute to Service Award winner and 2013 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.
The 2014 Bears/Boeing Military Salute honorees included Captain Jonathan Rickard, Petty Officer Tarick Khadra, Sergeant Garey Broaden, Staff Sergeant Christopher Schliesmann, Chief Warrant Officer Philip Robinson, Corporal Charles "Charlie" Powers, Staff Sergeant Denisse Ocasio, Staff Sergeant Damon Miers, Hospital Corpsman Second Class Ryan Allen, and Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Flemings.
During our Salute to Service game each year, the USO of Illinois selects a veteran who served in World War II to be recognized during the Bears/Boeing Salute. This season we honored Retired Corporal Charles "Charlie" Powers. Corporal Powers was in combat in Normandy with General George S. Patton. His Division also helped take control of the city of Cologne, and then freed several thousand captives from concentration camps in the city of Wobbelin.
Our Inside the Bears team documented Corporal Powers' day at Soldier Field, and also visited his home to learn more about his experiences in the war and the amazing life that he's led. You can view the special Inside the Bears segment here.