The Los Angeles Chargers are proud to nominate retired linebacker and Southern California-native Donnie Edwards for the 2017 Salute to Service Award for his extensive work with veterans and servicemen.
The Los Angeles Chargers are proud to nominate retired linebacker and Southern California-native Donnie Edwards for the 2017 Salute to Service Award. During his five seasons with the team, #59 was twice voted as an All-Pro linebacker and at the time of his retirement, Edwards was one of only eight players in the history of the NFL to record 20 interceptions and 20 sacks over a career. While he was heavily involved with bettering the community and actively supporting the military during his playing days, Edwards has taken full advantage of his connections off the field to support the world around him, especially our military veterans, in his post-football life.
It was Edwards' long-standing family ties to the military which moved him to lend his support to our troops overseas, including participating in seven tours with the USO proudly working to help boost morale for members of our military.
"My family has been in the military since grandpa, who is a Pearl Harbor survivor with the 25th infantry division. His service and sacrifice to this country has always pushed me to support our military and so I'm a life-long supporter of our military," said Edwards.
But now Edwards' passion has taken a very special direction as he has turned his attention and time to assisting The Greatest Generation Foundation.
"Primarily what I do now is I work with The Greatest Generation Foundation. We take WWII veterans back to their battlefields and memorials so they can make peace and pay respect to their fallen brothers who never got a chance to live a full life. It's been really rewarding for me. I've been taking back veterans for about 10 years and I've done over 25 programs around the world, from Berchtesgaden, Germany to the beaches of Iwo Jima, and all in-between."
Edwards finds that being able to help those who answered the call of duty to serve our country is a reward unlike any other and it's truly become a passion.
"It's great because I get to go back and plan and coordinate all the different events and ceremonies. And it's of no cost to the veterans at all. It's pretty special for those guys to have a chance to go back with their brothers," said Edwards. "There's no family involved, it's just the boys in the fox hole. We just started Vietnam and took five Vietnam Veterans back to their battlefield which is really rewarding for those gentlemen."
Clearly, Donnie Edwards' passion for supporting our veterans is in a league all its own. And while he would never ask for acknowledgement, his passion and willingness to support and comfort these veterans is exemplary and worthy of recognition. His desire, in his post-football career, to help those who fought for our freedoms on countless battlefields heel their old wounds and say good bye to long lost friends makes him special - and we hope you will recognize his quiet work on behalf of The Greatest Generation.
In addition, the Chargers will host a series of military appreciation events leading up to their Salute to Service game on Sunday, Nov. 19 vs. the Buffalo Bills. On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Chargers are partnering with the Bob Hope USO for their annual "Feed the Troops" event. Players and Charger Girls will be present to assist the Bob Hope USO.
The Chargers are proud to once again team with Pros vs. GI Joes for their annual Salute to Service game-a-thon on Friday, Nov. 17. Pros vs. GI Joes is a non-profit that provides opportunities for active duty military to compete against professional athletes in video games such as Call of Duty and Madden.
For more than a decade, the Chargers have invited local wounded warriors to a practice at the Chargers training facility to meet the team and watch a part of practice as a show of the team's support for our military. This year's group will attend practice on Friday, Nov. 17.