With November being Salute to Service month in the NFL, a few Chargers spent their day off on Tuesday giving back, thanking those who make the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country.
Joined by Bob Hope USO at LAX, the Chargers helped host a Thanksgiving celebration for hundreds of Marines.
“Today we are celebrating early Thanksgiving with hundreds of troops deploying around the world,” said Bob Kurkjian – Executive Director, Bob Hope USO. “Most of whom will not have the opportunity to be at home for Thanksgiving. This for many of them will be their very first Thanksgiving away from home.”
Additionally, volunteers from Activision, during their Day of Service, will set up activities for the troops and their families, including games, and a photo booth. The Los Angeles World Airports’ (LAWA) annual drive to support the troops through donations will be delivered during the event.
Cardale Jones, Adrian Phillips and Isaac Rochell as well as members of the Charger Girls were on hand to mingle with the troops and serve them a Thanksgiving feast.
“It really means a lot to be able to give back to these young men who are going into service and protect our country,” Phillips said. “There’s really no better feeling than this; having the opportunity to show them that they are appreciated and that we’re thankful for what they do.”
The event hit home for Jones, who has military ties in his family.
“I had a couple of family members who served and I have an uncle who is serving his 22nd year in the Navy,” he said. “It means a lot to me overall. To understand what these people go through for our freedoms and what they do. Without these guys, nothing we do here would be possible…. To see these guys around each other, and how young they are, to come in and protect our freedoms is humbling.”
Bob Hope USO is a non-profit which provides direct service to over 100,000 military members, their families and eligible military retirees in Southern California. For many of these young men, seeing the players come out to serve and support them meant everything. It was important for the Bolts to give the servicemen a little slice of home before the depart to the next chapter of their military careers.
“What we have here is the 50th anniversary of the USO partnering with the NFL to support out troops,” mentioned Kurkjian. “Whether it’s sending players on USO tours abroad or right here at home in Los Angeles, having players and the cheerleaders out here to greet the troops, what it means to them is incredible and immeasurable. It brings their heroes to them; people that they only see on TV. All of a sudden (the Marines) are here and they’re the ones being applauded. They’re the ones the players and the cheerleaders are asking for photos with. It reverses the roles, and it’s incredible and they love it.”