The NFL and USAA, the NFL's Official Military Appreciation Sponsor, have announced the 32 nominees for the seventh annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. The Salute to Service Award annually recognizes NFL players, coaches, personnel and alumni who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community, as nominated by NFL clubs.
The Salute to Service 2017 nominee for the New Orleans Saints is linebacker A.J. Klein.
Klein comes from a military family – his grandfather served in the Air Force, two of his cousins were pilots and his great-grandfather served in World War II. His first opportunity to support military was when he was training for the NFL draft in Pensacola, Fla., and at the same workout facility, several military veterans and active military were rehabbing from injuries. He enjoyed the opportunity to spend time and support these military men and women. During his tenure in Carolina from 2013-16, he was active in team events that supported the military and is looking forward to continuing to do the same in New Orleans.
Finalists for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA will be announced in January, and the recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour prime-time awards special to air nationally on Feb. 3, the night before Super Bowl LII, from 7-9 p.m. on NBC.
The Salute to Service Award is part of the NFL and USAA's year-round commitment to recognize and honor the military community. Each year, the NFL and its 32 teams come together to honor and support members of the military as part of the NFL's Salute to Service. The league's year-round military appreciation efforts culminate in November with NFL Salute to Service games and other special events honoring veterans, active duty service members and their families.
Since 2011, USAA has used its sponsorship to honor and appreciate military, veterans and their families by fostering a closer understanding between military and the NFL. Among numerous events this season, USAA hosted "NFL Boot Camps" with multiple teams where military members competed in drills similar to those used at the NFL Combine. Fans can join the NFL and USAA in honoring the military community by visiting NFL.com/Salute and see military appreciation highlights from across the league.
Since 2011, more than $17 million has been raised through Salute to Service to support the league's military nonprofit partners.