Morgan Fox knows all too well the daily sacrifices those in the military make.
His father, Joe, is a United States Army veteran who served for what Fox felt like was "forever."
"I don't even know the amount of years," Morgan Fox said. "I know that I was there for all of them. It felt like forever, but he was in the Army, he was deployed my whole life."
Through his father, Fox was inspired and got to experience first-hand what it was like to be around people in the military.
"I always looked to him and always was like 'Oh, I want to be in the Army. I want to be a soldier,'" Fox said. "I had football work out, but my whole life, he was in the military so just growing up around it and being a part of it."
Fox on Friday was officially named the Chargers nominee for the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA. For the first time, fans will be able to vote for their favorite nominee, which will help determine the award's three finalists. To see all the nominees and vote, fans can visit NFL.com/SaluteFanVote from now until November 30. One vote per day, per fan is permitted.
The finalists will be announced in January, and the recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a primetime awards special to air nationally in February during the week of Super Bowl LVII.
Fox was surprised Thursday with the news by a few people representing the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) at Hoag Performance Center. Fox expressed gratitude for the nomination, as his support for military is his way of giving back to a community knows really well and helped raise him.
"It's awesome. I'm grateful to be nominated for it," Fox said of the award. "It's definitely not a reason why I do help when I can, I just want to give back to the community and give to the people that raised me and the people that sacrificed so much.
"It was just awesome and a great surprise. I'm really grateful," Fox added.
In addition to being surprised by the people representing the WWP, his father joined in on the congratulations via video call.
"Oh, it was awesome man. I just spent some time with those guys [from the Wounded Warrior Project] about a week ago, so it was great seeing them here and the surprise," Fox said. "Obviously, my dad calling in, that was awesome."
Chargers defensive lineman Morgan Fox hosted a group from the Wounded Warrior Project after Thursday's practice! During the visit Morgan was nominated as the the team's NFL Salute to Service Award candidate!
Christian Moreno served in the United State Marine Corps from 2006 to 2013. Moreno, who did two tours in Iraq, was one of the members on hand representing the WWP.
Moreno, a lifelong Chargers fan, was excited to be apart of the surprise, adding that Fox's background around the military gives him a different insight on the sacrifices many make.
"He comes from a strong military background," Moreno said. "He knows how it was with his father being involved with the military, getting stationed from here to there and seeing his dad work late hours, coming back stressed and tired.
"He knows from a deeper level how tough it is and how much sacrifice you have to give in the military," Moreno added. "For him to be nominated in honor of those veterans and organizations, I'm sure it brings a lot of pride within him and the family."
It was not Moreno and other representatives of the WWP's first time meeting Fox, as he and other Chargers players spent time with them and other veterans at a Project Odyssey event last week.
Project Odyssey is one of the WWP's mental health programs. Fox talked about what the conversations with veterans was like and the importance of the experience for everyone.
"It was amazing," Fox said. "It was amazing to sit down and talk with these men and women and have them share their stories with us and the things they go through. Kind of bounce similarities of certain things off of each other and being able to talk through the things we all go through."
Moreno spoke about what it was like meeting and talking to NFL players, as they were all able to find similarities in a variety of ways.
"We all talked about how we deal with stress, how we deal with anxiety," Moreno said. "It's pretty cool to see how they do it, because it's very comparable to how we do it. Practice breathing techniques, finger tapping techniques.
"Seeing how the NFL players do it and how we do it, it's pretty cool how it all ties together," Moreno added.
The main things Fox took from his experience growing up around the military have been crucial lessons that he has applied to his life thus far.
"Discipline and resilience," Fox said. "I've seen these guys push through some things physically and mentally and be disciplined to their goals and to the people around them. That just helped instill that in me growing up.
"Just caring about the people you're around and the people in your circle, in your unit, being a part of something bigger than yourself is something I took from them growing up," Fox added.
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