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Amid 'Please Stand' Controversy, NFL Announces It Will Honor Veterans During Super Bowl
Days after receiving criticism from a national veterans organization for rejecting an advertisement urging players and fans to stand during the national anthem, the National Football League announced Thursday that it would honor veterans during Super Bowl LII.
Fifteen Medal of Honor recipients will be part of the Super Bowl coin toss ceremony on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis, the NFL announced. The game pits the Philadelphia Eagles against the New England Patriots.
World War II veteran Hershel “Woody” Williams, 94, will flip the coin, surrounded by the other Medal of Honor recipients. Williams received the Medal of Honor in 1945 for his actions during the Battle of Iwo Jima.
“The NFL is proud to honor our nation’s heroes at Super Bowl LII,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a written statement. “These courageous individuals deserve to be recognized on America’s biggest stage.”
The announcement was made just days after American Veterans, known as AMVETS, spoke out against the NFL for rejecting a print advertisement the group submitted for the official Super Bowl LII programs. The full-page ad pictured the American flag, soldiers and the words “Please Stand,” referring to the movement of NFL players protesting racial inequity and injustice by kneeling during the performance of the national anthem before the start of games.
Following the outcry, NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said official Super Bowl programs should not be used for political messaging and that AMVETS was given an opportunity to amend their ad.
AMVETS sent a letter to Goodell on Monday, calling the decision “corporate censorship.”
The NFL emphasized Thursday its efforts to honor veterans and the military, including its season-long “Salute to Service” military appreciation initiative. The league also partners with military nonprofits TAPS, USO, Pat Tillman Foundation and Wounded Warrior Project.
Other Medal of Honor recipients participating:
Bennie Adkins, Army, Vietnam; Don Ballard, Navy, Vietnam; Sammy Davis, Army, Vietnam; Roger Donlon, Army, Vietnam; Sal Giunta, Army, Afghanistan; Flo Groberg, Army, Afghanistan; Tom Kelley, Navy, Vietnam; Allan Kellogg, Marines, Vietnam; Gary Littrell, Army, Vietnam;Walter Marm, Army, Vietnam; Robert Patterson, Army, Vietnam; Leroy Petry, Army, Afghanistan; Clint Romesha, Army, Afghanistan; James Taylor, Army, Vietnam.
©2018 the Stars and Stripes. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
A group of vets are raising money to pay for a medal the Iraqi government awarded them, but never delivered
In June 2011 Iraq's defense minister announced that U.S. troops who had deployed to the country would receive the Iraq Commitment Medal in recognition of their service. Eight years later, millions of qualified veterans have yet to receive it.
The reason: The Iraqi government has so far failed to provide the medals to the Department of Defense for approval and distribution.
A small group of veterans hopes to change that.
For a cool $8.5 million, you could be the proud owner of a "fully functioning" F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter jet that a South Florida company acquired from Jordan.
The combat aircraft, which can hit a top speed of 1,357 mph at 40,000 feet, isn't showroom new — it was built in 1980. But it still has a max range of 2,400 miles and an initial climb rate of 62,000 feet per minute and remains militarized, according to The Drive, an automotive website that also covers defense topics, WBDO News 96.5 reported Wednesday.
A doctor who treated accident victims has a radioactive isotope in his body. Russia says it came from his diet
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian authorities said on Friday that a doctor who treated those injured in a mysterious accident this month had the radioactive isotope Caesium-137 in his body, but said it was probably put there by his diet.
The deadly accident at a military site in northern Russia took place on Aug. 8 and caused a brief spurt of radiation. Russian President Vladimir Putin later said it occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.
Groundwater at the Air Force Academy is contaminated with the same toxic chemicals polluting a southern El Paso County aquifer, expanding a problem that has cost tens of millions of dollars to address in the Pikes Peak region.
Plans are underway to begin testing drinking water wells south of the academy in the Woodmen Valley area after unsafe levels of the chemicals were found at four locations on base, the academy said Thursday.