NFL To Honor Veterans During Super Bowl


By Debbie Gregory.

Although the National Football League (NFL) has taken some heat for the #PleaseStand controversy, the league has announced plans to honor veterans during Super Bowl LII.

The brouhaha began when the NFL rejected an ad for the Super Bowl program from AMVETS  that featured the American flag, saluting soldiers and the words “Please Stand,” urging players and fans to stand during the national anthem. The ad was in direct opposition to the movement of NFL players protesting racial inequality and injustice by kneeling during the performance of the National Anthem before the start of games.

NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said the programs should not be used for political messaging. AMVETS declined the opportunity to amend their ad.

Controversy aside, the participation of 15 Medal of Honor (MoH) recipients from WWII, Vietnam and Afghanistan may be one of best parts of the Super Bowl.

WWII Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams, 94, will flip the coin that gives the winning captain the opportunity to elect to kick off or receive. Williams will be surrounded by fellow MoH recipients from the Vietnam War: Bennie Adkins, Army; Don Ballard, Navy; Sammy Davis, Army; Roger Donlon, Army; Tom Kelley, Navy; Allan Kellogg, Marines; Gary Littrell, Army; Walter Marm, Army; Robert Patterson, Army; and James Taylor, Army.

MoH recipients from Afghanistan who will be participating are: Sal Giunta, Army; Flo Groberg, Army; Leroy Petry, Army; and Clint Romesha, Army.

“These courageous individuals deserve to be recognized on America’s biggest stage,” said Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner.

The NFL’s military appreciation initiative “Salute to Service” has been running all season. The league also partners with military nonprofits Pat Tillman Foundation, TAPS, USO, and Wounded Warrior Project.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Medal of Honor Recipient Kyle Carpenter Charged in Hit and Run

kyle carpenter

By Debbie Gregory.

On December 31st, Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter was charged with hit-and-run and making an improper left turn in connection with a December 8th incident. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Carpenter, 26, the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient, turned himself in to Columbia, SC police. He was later released on bond.

According to the Columbia Police Department, Carpenter struck an 18-year-old pedestrian who was making a legal street crossing just after 8:30 p.m.

While Carpenter did pull over and turn on his hazard lights, he did not exit the vehicle to exchange information or render aid, according to police officials.

As the pedestrian stood up and approached the vehicle, Carpenter left the scene.

According to the police incident report, “The suspect then left the location without notifying the proper authorities. The driver of the vehicle involved in the accident did not return to the scene to give his name, address and the registration number of the vehicle nor made available his driver’s license or render reasonable aide or assistance to the victim.”

Columbia police were notified by several citizens and responded to the scene. The victim suffered abrasions and a leg injury. He was treated by EMS personnel at the scene but declined transportation to the hospital. Fortunately, the accident did not result in any serious injuries.

Police said they have no evidence that either Carpenter or the victim were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident.

Carpenter received the Medal of Honor for saving a fellow Marine from a grenade lobbed by a Taliban fighter. Carpenter took most of the impact, suffering a shattered jaw, shattered right arm, the loss of his right eye and most of his teeth. He spent five weeks in a coma, underwent dozens of surgeries and spent two years in the hospital for rehabilitation.

Carpenter has fully cooperated with the investigation, authorities said.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.