SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers invited service members throughout San Diego to participate in the 26th Annual Salute to the Military game at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, Aug. 7.
More than 200 service members took to the field during the pregame and halftime show performances.
These kinds of events are a good way to build a stronger relationship in the San Diego community, explained Cpl. James Duffy, air traffic controller with Marine Air Control Squadron (MACS) 1, detachment A.
The pregame show included a parachute demonstration from the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, commonly known as the Leap Frogs, and a performance from the Marine Band San Diego.
Also during the pregame show, Marines, sailors and soldiers unfurled the flag as color guards from each branch of Service posted for the national anthem. Maj. Gen. Michael Rocco, commanding general of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, also showed his support by joining players and tossing the coin before the game.
The Salute to Service game is an annual tradition for the Chargers to show their appreciation of the military.
“They always do so much for the military and so many times [throughout] the year,” said Gunnery Sgt. Gary Robison, enlisted conductor for the Marine Band San Diego. “It’s just so great that they have so much appreciation for veterans and active duty and their service.”
During halftime, 50 Marines with 3rd MAW marched on the field each holding a state flag. The U.S. Navy Band Southwest played Service songs, including the Marines’ Hymm, while honoring members from the Wounded Warrior Battalion West.
Upon completion of their duties, Marines and sailors joined their fellow Service members, friends and families in the stands to enjoy the game with free tickets, as a token of appreciation.