Around New England

New England Patriots Wear Helmet Stickers Honoring Fallen Military Heroes

Teaming up with Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), the New England Patriots wore stickers on the their helmets honoring the local men and women who have died in US military service. The black-and-white stickers were affixed to the back of the helmets and were worn during the Patriots’ 31-17 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. New England’s coaching staff also wore buttons in honor of the fallen.

“In honor of the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice, Patriots players will wear a helmet sticker with the initials of a local man or woman who lost their life while serving in the military and the coaching staff will wear buttons with their photos during tonight’s game,” read a statement at the end of a video about the program that was posted on the Patriots’ Facebook page.

That video has received nearly 239,000 views, 6,000 Facebook “Likes”, over 2,400 Facebook “Shares,” and attracted hundreds of comments.

In a report on USA Today‘s Patriots Wire, the entire NFL, in the week before Veterans Day, “is  beginning their ‘Salute to Service’ campaign, which honors the nation’s military and veterans by pledging to donate $5 million to its nonprofit partners.” This includes coaching staffs wearing army-green sweatshirts during games.

According to its website, TAPS “offers compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in our Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones.”

In related news, USA Today also reports via Patriots Wire that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick “has not recognized the campaign for the past several years by not wearing any of their apparel, [and he] continued the streak by not wearing any of it Sunday night.” According to the report, Belichick has not issued any statement about the matter.

Last night Belichick did wear blue in his team’s game against the Packers, which caused one Facebook user to speculate — via a comment on the Patriots Facebook page — that Belichick wore blue “to show his support for the US Navy! His father was a scout coach their [sic].”

Belichick’s father, Stephen Belichick, did indeed work as an assistant coach at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MA for 34 years.

 

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