In what is becoming an annual tradition of sorts, punter Pat McAfee has been named the Colts’ nominee for the NFL’s Salute to Service Award.
This is the fourth straight year in which McAfee is the team’s nominee for the award, in 2014 he was a semi-finalist, and in 2015 he was one of two finalists. Will this be the year he actually wins it? Perhaps, but in the end what really matters is what the award is honoring: commitment to supporting our armed forces and their families, which each of the 32 nominees does.
The award honors players for their support of military members and veterans, which is something McAfee has done for quite a while. According to McAfee’s bio on the league’s page about the award, he has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars this year, has dedicated his time, and along with Chuck Pagano and some teammates he went on a USO Tour in Japan earlier this year. The Pat McAfee Foundation looks to give scholarship opportunities to military families and this year raised $100,000. He is once again donating 20 tickets per game through Wish For Our Heroes and he hosted over 100 military members at training camp this year. Furthermore, he held three comedy shows this summer with the proceeds going toward Wish For Our Heroes, raising $40,000. He will also give $50,000 to the Indianapolis VA Domiciliary to assist homeless veterans, and he’ll contribute $100,000 to help 100 military families with gifts for the Christmas season.
In a time where most of what you hear about players off-the-field is negative, it’s nice seeing stories like these with players using their time and resources to make a difference in a positive way. Pat McAfee has definitely exemplified that and continues to do so, particularly when it comes to supporting military members and their families. McAfee deserves to be commended for his efforts, and that’s exactly what has happened as he’s once again the Colts’ nominee for the Salute to Service award.