JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The military plays such an important role in the Jacksonville area and Thursday night the Jacksonville Jaguars will try to show the city's gratitude with what's being called "The Salute to Service Military Appreciate Game."
The special tribute is planned at EverBank Field where the Jacksonville Jaguars will take on the Indianapolis Colts -- a game that can be seen locally on Channel 4 and nationally on the NFL Network.
When the Jaguars take the field in front of a national audience tonight, they'll play the Colts, reminding the fans about the sacrifices of military personnel and their families.
Both end zones at EverBank field have been painted with the special message 'Salute to Service'.
During Thursday night's game, each player's helmet will have decals representing a branch of the military.
The players will also be wearing newly designed gloves, carrying camouflage branded towels, and they'll play with a game ball with a camouflage logo.
In the stands will be 8,000 military fans, who had tickets donated to them from local companies.
Retired Naval Senior Chief Jack Aschenbach is one of many veterans who said he feels honored.
"When folks see that, it gives them a chill that they're being honored in such a way," Aschenbach said. "A small way. A thank you. A reminder. We appreciate your efforts for the country."
Outside the stadium, the military is flying in a Lakota Helicopter and a Seahawk Helicopter during the pregame.
The team will recognize veterans that served during World War II, the Korean War, and in Vietnam.
The team will be lead out of the tunnel by sailor and marines, stationed on the Naval Submarine Base at Kings Bay.
"It's just a fabulous time for our men and women to be recognized," Aschenbach said. "Our mission is to have peace and that's why we are here."
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