WATCH: Why this NFL player, Salute to Service Award winner works tirelessly for military families - We Are The Mighty
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WATCH: Why this NFL player, Salute to Service Award winner works tirelessly for military families

When he’s not on the field at tight end or fullback for the Denver Broncos, Andrew Beck is most likely to be found doing something to support members of the Armed Forces or their families. 

He might be working out with soldiers and airmen, teaching military children the basics of football or partnering with any one of the military-connected nonprofits to raise money or awareness. Whatever the military community needs, he’ll be there. He’s even visited a Space Force Base. 

It might have something to do with the fact that he knows what life is like for them. He’s the son of a career Army officer, now Brig. Gen. Chris Beck. Growing up a military brat, he went to school in 11 different places, including Fort Carson, before going to college at Texas. 

“We moved all over, stationed everywhere,” Beck told We Are The Mighty. “I genuinely loved growing up in that environment. That’s why I wanted to work with the military so much. Even though I didn’t join or serve, to be able to work with the military and give back has been unbelievable.”

With the military being such an integral part of his life, the 25-year-old Beck eagerly agreed to be part of a recent Army reenlistment ceremony for soldiers from Colorado’s Fort Carson. The soldiers were invited to the Broncos’ indoor practice facility to take the oath once more. 

“What you guys just did was a huge honor,” Beck told the soldiers after they took the Oath of Enlistment. “None of you are enlisting for the first time… you know what’s coming and to still choose to do that speaks so highly of all of you.”

Then Beck got a surprise of his own. Gen. Beck walked out onto the practice field to tell his son that he would be receiving this season’s Salute to Service Award from the NFL and USAA for all the work he’s done for the military community.

“You’ve been doing this a couple of years now,” Brig. Gen. Beck told his son, “and I have been inspired and humbled by how you’ve paid it forward.” 

The excitement at hearing the news could be seen on the younger Beck’s face, especially since it came from his dad. 

“He instilled that [military] mindset in me at a young age,” Beck says. “He taught me the values of what it meant to grow up in a military family, what that standard is, what that means. That genuinely helped me get where I am in my career.”

The Salute to Service Award is presented by USAA to the NFL team member who shows “exceptional effort to honor and support members of the military community.” 

Each of 32 NFL teams submit a name from their players, coaches, and owners, someone who has excelled in their support of military members and the military-veteran community. A panel of former Salute to Service Award recipients, along with officials from the NFL and USAA, choose the final winner. 

The tight end was nominated by the Broncos for his tireless devotion to the families of military personnel. He’s worked closely with America’s Gold Star Families, Buckley Air Force Base, Fort Carson Army Base, TAPS, USO Colorado, Volunteers of America: Colorado and Wounded Warrior Project, just to name a few. Despite COVID-19 restrictions, he was able to reach an estimated 400 military families in need.

Andrew Beck is the 11th recipient of the Salute to Service Award. In presenting the award, USAA will contribute $25,000 in Beck’s honor to the official aid societies representing each of the military branches. The NFL Foundation will match USAA’s donation of $25,000, which will be donated to Beck’s military charity of choice.

To receive the NFL Foundation’s funds, he chose USO and the Denver-based Freedom Service Dogs, which helps veterans and active-duty military members independence with the aid of trained service dogs.

“A huge thank you to USAA for partnering with the NFL and presenting this award,” Beck says. “And to the Denver Broncos for helping me every step of the way, helping me with organizations, post visits… they’ve been completely supportive the entire time.”

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