The Bears have selected veteran left guard Cody Whitehair as their nominee for the NFL's 2022 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.
The seventh-year pro consistently supports the community and particularly members of the military. As part of the Bears' Home Team Hand-Off ticket donation program, Whitehair purchased four tickets to every home game this season and donated them to the member of the military who is honored on the field as part of the Boeing Military Salute in the third quarter. Whitehair also provides an autographed jersey to the honorees.
In the past, Whitehair has participated in Salute to Service week events, including a luncheon at Halas Hall with veterans from the Midwest Veterans Homeless Shelter.
"We're very fortunate to be in this country and to have all the freedoms that we have," Whitehair said. "These men and women that fight for us day-in and day-out, it just means the world to me. And any way I can give back and do the things that I do, that's a big thing for me."
Whitehair comes from a military family. His grandfather, Al Racy, served in the Air Force, and his great-grandfather, Ed Blewit, also spent time in the armed forces.
Asked about being chosen as the Bears' nominee for the Salute to Service Award, Whitehair said: "My grandfather and my great-grandfather both served in the armed forces, so I do have a special place in my heart for the military and it's quite an honor."
While growing up, Whitehair learned the importance of hard work from his grandfather.
"The biggest thing I took away was the work ethic," Whitehair said. "My dream was always to play NFL football and there are some similarities with the military and the leadership and the work ethic and everything."
To vote for Whitehair to be named the NFL's 2022 Salute to Service Award winner, visit https://www.nfl.com/causes/salute/nominees/2022/vote.