Ravens coach John Harbaugh was given the 2013 Salute to Service Award on Saturday night in New York. The award acknowledges exceptional efforts from members of the NFL community who honor and support military and their families.
“My good fortune is that I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with members of our military,” Harbaugh said. “From those stationed in the Middle East to others I have met in the states, there is a common theme with those I have met and some whom we’ve put in front of our team. These are great and smart men and women. And they are sacrificing for all of us.
“They deserve our respect, support and, importantly, our thanks every day. We try to do that as often as we can. They inspire us. Members of the military are all about team. They have each other’s backs. They defend us. They protect us. I salute all of them.”
Harbaugh took part in the annual NFL-USO coaches’ tour of the Middle East in 2009. He has visited numerous military bases, purchased school supplies for children whose parents were serving in the military, and has put together care packages for troops overseas, He has helped institute Military Appreciation Day, an annual event that takes place during Ravens training camp. He also took the team to Gettysburg, Pa. during OTA’s to learn about the Civil War. Harbaugh hosts wounded warriors as his guests to every Ravens home game.