NFL and USAA announce Denver Broncos TE Andrew Beck as recipient of 11th annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA
Beck’s commitment to supporting U.S. service members, veterans and their families to be recognized at NFL Honors
The NFL and USAA, an official NFL Salute to Service Partner, named Denver Broncos Tight End ANDREW BECK as the recipient of the 2021 Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. The award was created to acknowledge the exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support members of the military community.
Beck will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special that will air live Thursday, February 10 at 9:00 PM ET on ABC from YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. USAA, a leading provider of insurance and other financial services to U.S. military members, veterans and their families, 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. Beck will also receive a specially designed military challenge coin, recognizing his commitment to the military. In what has become a long-standing tradition, challenge coins are presented to members of the military community to encourage excellence, boost morale or to recognize a fellow brother- or sister-in-arms.
“Coming from a military family thanks to his father’s service, Andrew Beck definitely knows that the military community needs our support, and he has admirably used his platform as an NFL player to give back to his fellow military families and those who choose to wear the uniform,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) JOHN BIRD, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. “We thank Andrew for continuing to serve all those who serve and are pleased to honor him as the recipient of this year's ‘Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.’”
Denver Broncos tight end Andrew Beck's dedication to serving the military became evident soon after joining the organization during the 2019 season. Over the past three seasons, he has partnered with America's Gold Star Families, Buckley Space Force Base, Fort Carson Army Base, Freedom Service Dogs, TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), USO Colorado, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Volunteers of America: Colorado and Wounded Warrior Project. In total, he's reached more than 425 military families through his strategic outreach during his time with the Broncos.
Beck, who comes from a military family due to his father’s current service in the U.S. Army as a Brigadier General, knows firsthand some of the sacrifices made by our military community. While volunteering at a Salute to Service PLAY 60 Clinic in 2019, Beck learned that kids drove from Fort Carson Army Base in Colorado Springs. Beck's face immediately lit up, as he had played high school football in the area while his dad was stationed at the same base.
Despite cancellations, protocols and restrictions, Beck refused to let the pandemic impact his commitment to support the military. In November of 2020, he assembled Salute to Service care packages for military bases across Colorado and helped host a virtual visit with Wounded Warrior Project veterans. In the 2021 offseason, Beck participated in a virtual visit with Buckley Space Force Base and USO Colorado to celebrate WingMan Week, a program dedicated to strengthening connection, relaxation, and the rejuvenation of the fighting spirit. He also partnered with Freedom Service Dogs of America on multiple initiatives, including highlighting the organization on his cleats for My Cause My Cleats.
“To win this award means so much to me. Working with the military and giving back to them is something I’m passionate about. I grew up in a military family, so I know the things that they go through,” Denver Broncos Fullback/Tight End ANDREW BECK. “My dad [who is in the military] is such a big role model to me. This will be a memory I cherish for the rest of my life.”
This season, NFL clubs nominated coaches, active and retired players, and team executives and personnel, who best demonstrated support for the military community. The nominees were publicly announced in November and the submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges, including last year's award recipient, Atlanta Falcons/AMB Sports and Entertainment CEO STEVE CANNON. Nominees' credentials are evaluated based on the positive effect of the individual's efforts on the military community, the type of service conducted, the thoroughness of the program and level of commitment.
The panel of judges, consisting of representatives from the U.S. military, the NFL and USAA, includes:
- VICE ADMIRAL JOHN BIRD (Ret.), U.S. Navy veteran, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs
- LENNY BANDY, U.S. Marine Corps Veteran and NFL Vice President of Security
- CHAD HENNINGS, Air Force Academy graduate, three-time Super Bowl champion
- DONNIE EDWARDS, Los Angeles Chargers Legend and 2019 Salute to Service Award recipient
- JIM MORA, SR., Marine Corps veteran, former NFL head coach
- STEVE CANNON, CEO, AMB Sports & Entertainment (Atlanta Falcons) and 2020 Salute to Service Award recipient
Since 2011, USAA has used its sponsorship to honor and appreciate active-duty military, veterans and their families by creating unique opportunities that bring the military community and the NFL closer together.
Below is the list of previous Salute to Service Award recipients:
|2020||Steve Cannon (CEO)||Atlanta Falcons|
|2019||Donnie Edwards||Los Angeles Chargers|
|2018||Ben Garland||Atlanta Falcons|
|2017||Andre Roberts||Atlanta Falcons|
|2016||Dan Quinn (Head Coach)||Atlanta Falcons|
|2015||Vincent Jackson (Late Legend)||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|2014||Jared Allen||Chicago Bears|
|2013||John Harbaugh (Head Coach)||Baltimore Ravens|
|2012||Charles Tillman||Chicago Bears|
|2011||K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr. (Late Owner)||Tennessee Titans|
The Salute to Service Award is part of the NFL and USAA's year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. Fans can join the NFL and USAA in honoring the military community by visiting NFL.com/Salute.