News: The NFL honored military members from all branches during the Pro Bowl
Story by Staff Sgt. John Johnson
HONOLULU, Hawaii – The National Football League honored military members from all branches during the Pro Bowl, played at Aloha Stadium Jan. 27.
This year’s NFL's "Salute to Service" program was part of its ongoing effort to recognize military service members. As part of this program, service members received a special tribute during halftime when the NFL showcased more than 1,000 military members on the football field.
Practices from the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC) were held at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, where players took ample time to sign military and military family members' autographs and pose for pictures.
Mathew Slater of Baldwin Park, Calif., said, “It’s just a true blessing to be on this field today. I thank God to be playing on the field in front of these soldiers today.”
The players held their final practices at Aloha Stadium Jan. 26 as part of "Ohana Day," - ohana meaning “family” in native Hawaiian.
The NFL featured its best players, cheerleaders, and mascots for the leagues last practice before the big game.
Military public affairs journalists from every branch attended the game in order to report the event from a true military perspective. Public affairs personnel were treated with the utmost respect. NFL planners and players provided as much support as possible to help the military media inform the community about the game and events leading up to it.
Soldiers, spouses and children enjoyed having the players, the excitement and the game in such close proximity to their home.
Spc. Hackett B William, a supply clerk, and his wife Jennifer, attended the game.
Hackett said, “It’s my dream to live in Hawaii and attend the Pro Bowl every year. I am just enjoying this game, and I hope it comes back next year.”
The Pro Bowl game kicked off with a coin toss between Army leaders and a sung performance of the national anthem by rhythm and blues super star Brian McKnight.
Soldiers who attended the ceremony were proud the NFL showed such support for the military members of Oahu.
Lt. Col. Glenn Woolgar, G4, 94th AAMDC expressed his thanks, “I thought the Pro Bowl halftime show featuring service members and their families was touching and captured the support and warmth we feel from the local community throughout the year.”