Philadelphia Eagles: Salute to Service

Throughout November, the NFL honors Veterans Day with 32 ‘salute to service’ games across the league.  For every point scored during one of these games the NFL donates $100 to the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO, and the Wounded Warrior Project.  The league donated around $800,000 during it’s first year of the program last year.

On November 17th, I was in attendance for the Philadelphia Eagles’ Salute to Service game agains the Washington Redskins.

Me standing with an actual U.S. Army Jeep on the main level of Lincoln Financial Field

Me standing with an actual U.S. Army Jeep on the main level of Lincoln Financial Field

The game began with five military members leading the team onto the field while holding their branch’s flag.  The national Anthem was sung by Generald Wilson, a retired Navy officer.  The Marines Silent Drill Platoon put on an amazing half time show, along with many recognitions and dedications throughout the game.

The Salute to Service was shown at breaks in every play.

The Salute to Service was shown at breaks in every play.

The Marines Silent Drill Platoon during their halftime show.

The Marines Silent Drill Platoon during their halftime show.

Philadelphia is known for their tough and passionate fans, this event was special to me for obvious reasons; yet it touched me due to the amount of respect that was shown for those being honored on this day.  No matter the circumstance, American’s are always proud and grateful for everything our Service women and men do for us.  It was amazing to see a city come together and appreciate what our country has.

The Eagles beat the Redskins 24-16, putting the donations just above $4,000.



SportsCenter Veteran’s Day Montage

With Veteran’s Day landing on a Monday, and me stuck at work behind a bar for 11 hours, there wasn’t much celebrating, or posting I could do.  It was around noon that I switched all the TV’s to ESPN’s daily broadcast of SportsCenter.  As the topics switched on the status bar on the left, I saw a topic I knew would be hitting me hard quickly approaching.  It was entitled “Coming Home”, a video montage of everything that makes me cry; sports, dads, homecomings, and little girls.

My first care package

I decided with Halloween just leaving us, and Thanksgiving right around the corner it’s about time I sent my Dad a care package.  I decided to mix the holidays together, with the understanding that it will probably not get to him until after Thanksgiving.

I first decided that with Halloween in mind, sending him a bag of his favorite candy was a must, even though he told me not to.  Along with candy I decided a Philadelphia favorite snack to remind him a bit of home.  I also got him a box of Cliff bars in his favorite flavor, just to even out the junk food.

Dad candy


Growing up my dad always had a stack of National Geographic magazines, although I know he prefers Business Week it’s a little hard to send a weekly magazine when you know it’ll be almost 2 months out of date by the time it gets there.  National Geographic is something I know he’ll enjoy.


Lately I’ve been hearing from my dad how cold it’s gotten in Northern Afghanistan, about 50°, the same as our classic New Jersey fall.  I went to Target and picked up what I found to be a comfortable, yet sporty jacket that I know will keep him warm while away and when he comes home.  It’s a Champion jacket with a fleece inner-layer, cost around $40.00 and is great if you’re looking to send your loved one a sporty light jacket while he’s away.


I sent my dad two cards, one for Halloween and one for Thanksgiving, each describing in their own themed way how much I miss him during these times.  Fall in New Jersey is my favorite time of year, and more than ever I wish he was here to enjoy it with me.

" Wish there were a magic spell that let us travel in one simple instant poof

” Wish there were a magic spell that let us travel in one simple instant poof

halloween inside

“Then i could wish you a Happy Halloween in person. Thinking of you from across the miles..”

thanksgiving front

“Thanksgiving means..autumn skies, crisp clean air, bright leaves falling here and there, Pies are baking, meals prepared, warmth and hugs and laughter shared.”

thanksgiving inside

“But all those good things can’t replace just being with you face to face-And even though we’re far apart, please know you’re always close in heart!”
–“Dad, This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for you. I am grateful and proud of what you’re doing. I am grateful for the chance to speak to you as often as I can, and for your safe return home. Above all I’m grateful I have such a great Dad who I can call my friend. Love you, See you soon 🙂 Gina”

Last but not least, I had to include a couple of pictures.  My dad missed out on a family wedding in October, and although he saw all the pictures through Facebook, I included a few in the package.


My brother, myself, my cousins Kristen, Noelle, and Michael

nick and i

My brother Nick and I

I’m hoping my package reaches my Dad and touches his heart.  All of the things included were chosen to make him smile and look forward for his short return on December 20th.

all things

All care package items

Inside box

Items placed in box right before taping!