On Sunday, the Chiefs held their Salute to Service game, honoring and celebrating our brave veterans, as well as, those currently serving in our armed forces. Throughout the day, military members played a vital role in the game day festivities, through volunteering and assisting in the Toys for Tots collection, holding the American flag on the field, signing the national anthem and much more.
View photos from the Chiefs Week 11 matchup against the Seahawks
Prior to kickoff on Sunday, the Chiefs hosted the annual Toys for Tots drive outside of Arrowhead Stadium. Now in its 49th season, the Chiefs Toys for Tots collection is the longest of its kind between an NFL franchise and the Marine Corps.
"The Toys for Tots program is all about giving back to the community and this really shows how well the Chiefs Kingdom comes together to help the less fortunate in our area," Gunnery Sergeant Chad Sawyer said. "The Toys for Tots program, with the help of the Chiefs and their fans, has enabled thousands of Kansas City families to celebrate the holidays and we're honored to be a part of it."
Along with the many toys donated, bikes and scooters were also collected. The Chiefs Red Coaters participated in this event, donating 47 bikes, 10 scooters and 25 helmets. The toys, along with bikes and scooters, will be taken to the Toys for Tots warehouse where they will then be organized and distributed to local charities. The monetary donations are used to buy toys that are still needed.
To begin the pregame festivities and to kickoff the Salute to Service game, there was a mass enlistment on the field; 90 service members from Wentworth Military Academy and KC MEPS were enlisted.
Later, the national anthem was performed by the United States Air Force Singing Sergeants and as the crowd chimed in, singing, "…home of the Chiefs," two A-10 Warthogs flew over the stadium. The 442nd Fighter Wing performed the fly over, after just returning from a seventh month tour in Afghanistan.
"It's the sound of freedom, hearing those planes fly over and the crowd cheering, while we're singing the anthem, is the great sound of freedom," SMSgt Christine Germian, who participated in performing the national anthem, said. "It's a tremendous honor to be here with all the other services and an amazing honor to represent our country and our entire Air Force in front of this incredible crowd."
Following the national anthem and the amazing fly over, Brigadier General Eric Wesly, the acting Commanding General of the 1st Infantry Division at Ft. Riley, led Chiefs fans in the drum ceremony.
Once the game begin, in the first quarter, the Chiefs recognized the Hometown Hero, Sergeant Jeffrey Snodgrass. He is currently assigned to the Mission Command Training Program working as an Information Technology Specialist. Sergeant Snodgrass began his career 1991 in the United States Army, and then changed careers to serve in the Navy for four years before finally settling in the Army. Sergeant Snodgrass and has been deployed seven times in multiple campaigns throughout his career.
In his first six years in the Army, Sergeant Snodgrass deployed to Somalia in support of Operation Restore Hope and to Kuwait to support Operation Provide Comfort. During his time in the Navy he served aboard the USS John F. Kennedy and the aircraft carrier the USS Theodore Roosevelt in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, setting a record on that cruise of 159 consecutive days at sea. He then joined the Army deployed two more times in support Operation Enduring Freedom.
In the third quarter, the Chiefs recognized the military members who were present and featured them on ArrowVision. Throughout the game, ArrowVision also played videos from military members overseas who were showcasing their Chiefs colors, Chiefs Kingdom flags or jerseys.
The Chiefs have a long-standing appreciation for the men and women in our armed forces and have a proud tradition of hosting military personnel at Arrowhead. The Chiefs Kingdom proudly showed their patriotism and respect for the military members who were honored today for their unwavering service to the United States.
Thank you to all of our veterans who have served this country proudly and thank you to all those actively serving today. From all of us at the Chiefs, we thank each of you for your dedication, bravery and service to this country.