Today, it was announced that Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen was the team’s 2019 NFL Salute to Service Nominee.
The annual award seeks to recognize league personnel who commit themselves and efforts to supporting the military community across the country and overseas.
USAA is the presenter of the award and this is the ninth year they have partnered with the NFL to do so. The following is the information from the official press release:
The Buccaneers nominated Jenson for his passionate support of the military community. Jenson has plenty of family ties to the military, including his grandfather and uncle both having served in the Army and his adopted brother in currently serving in the Marine Corps. Years ago, while working with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), an organization that provides care and support to Gold Star Families who are grieving the loss of a service member, he forged a special relationship with Cooper, a three-year-old child. Cooper, now nine, never met his father who died in action, but took to Jenson at a training camp because they both had fiery red locks of hair and the two still communicate. This interaction inspired Jenson to work with military organizations like USO and visit MacDill Air Force Base. He has participated in multiple Bucs’ military initiatives including Military Day at Training Camp and the Schwarzkopf Military Family Awards, which honors military families from each branch. At home games, he sponsors a community ticket program named “Jensen’s G.I. Joes” providing tickets to military veterans. In his free time, he has gone on visits to VA hospitals to spend time with veterans receiving care and offer his support.
Some other names Bucs fans will recognize are also up for the award. Former Tampa Bay fullback Danny Vitale is the nominee for the Green Bay Packers, and the San Francisco 49ers have nominated their general manager, John Lynch.
Former Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson won the award in 2015. To read more about Jensen’s nomination, and to see the other go to NFL.com/salute.