For honoring our men in uniform, the NFL and The United Services Automobile Association chose John Harbaugh, head coach for the Baltimore Ravens, as a Salute to Service award winner. According to the USAA's sponsorship marketing and media assistant vice president Don Clark, this award gives credit to those who support soldiers of tall branches of the United States military and their loved ones in extraordinary ways.
Harbaugh has committed himself to assisting the military throughout all six seasons as head coach for the Ravens. He invites Wounded Warriors to watch practices and gives them a tour of the Under Armour Performance Center. Harbaugh recently surprised the family of Lieutenant Russ Cote. He posed as a staffer for the team while his family watched practice. Afterward, he revealed that it was Cote and that he was home from overseas. Harbaugh started a day for military appreciation during the team's yearly training sessions at M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore. Finally, he was a part of the tour overseas with the United Service Organization of the National Football League in 2009.
Along with Harbaugh Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen was also chosen as a finalist. On Saturday at the NFL Honors presentation held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the USAA announced that Harbaugh had won.
Coach Harbaugh says he is lucky that he is able to meet and speak with soldiers from all branches of the military. He is honored to introduce them to the team. Whether they were part of the war overseas or were stationed in the country each of them are dedicated to their duties. They are people of intelligence who put their life on the line for others. He goes on:
“They deserve our respect, support and, importantly, our thanks every day. We try to do that as often as we can. They inspire us. Members of the military are all about team. They have each other’s backs. They defend us. They protect us. I salute all of them.” Harbaugh hopes to continue his service to the military while he is a coach.