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Military Ties Hit Home for Corey Liuget and Chris McCain

Each year, the NFL honors veterans and active duty service members through its Salute to Service Campaign that culminates in November. 

To honor and support military members during this time, the league hosts Salute to Service games and events.  For the Chargers, they are partnering with the Bob Hope USO for their annual "Feed the Troops" event, will host a Pros vs. GI Joes game-a-thon, and will invite local wounded warriors to a practice.

But while November is meaningful for all the Bolts, for some Chargers including Corey Liuget and Chris McCain, this campaign hits home.

Both Chargers have family members who served in the military.  For Liuget, it's his sisters.  For McCain, it's his mother and uncle.

"We have the freedom and pleasure to do what we do when we want to do it because of the soldiers," McCain said.  "You just always have to show them respect and never take away what they've done for us."

"They've been overseas, they've been to Germany, Iraq (and) Iran," Liuget said of his sisters, Ideidre and Latronika.  "They've been to Afghanistan.  They've been a lot of places and places I've never been."

Liuget said when his oldest sister decided to enlist, he was in shock.  He didn't know what to expect.  But after all the experiences she gained and the time she dedicated to serving her country, he couldn't help but admire her strength.  He felt the same way when his other sister followed in their eldest's footsteps.

"Having her come back and saying that she saw a different part of the world was amazing.  The way she explained it, (there were) some things that she still can't quite tell us about (what she experienced) in the military.  There's so much secret stuff and top security stuff that she can't speak on.  It was awesome for me.  To see her go and experience something important and so secretive that she can't even share, it's like, 'Dang, you're my sister!  I'm not going to tell anybody!"

With his mother and uncle both having served, McCain said he was raised to show high respect for those in the military.

"Even though I don't have too much knowledge of what my family members did, the respect I have for other people (in the military) especially how I was raised is huge," McCain mentioned.  "You always have to make sure to respect them because they don't have to do what they're doing.  That's one job I could not do.  I don't have what it takes to go do that.  That right there tells you I have the utmost respect for them."

Many fans look up to NFL players on the field as heroes.  But with Veterans Day around the corner, and the Bolts' Salute to Service game on Nov. 19, both Liuget and McCain admit the real heroes are the ones who enlist knowing they may make the ultimate sacrifice in serving their country.

"I would give the military and anyone in law enforcement credit for what they do," Liuget said.  "They're (literally) fighting wars and battles that many of us wouldn't want to be involved with or our kids to be involved with."

"We always say we're going to go into battle or fight, but they really do that," added McCain.  "This is just for three hours, they do it for years, decades.  It's something special.  They're special people." 

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.

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