CHARLOTTE - The Carolina Panthers will celebrate and honor past and present members of the military this week during the team's Salute to Service game, presented by Lowe's, on Sunday, Nov. 17 against the Atlanta Falcons.
The team's efforts this week are part of the NFL's year-round effort to honor, empower and connect our nation's service members, veterans and their families.
Read on for some of the special initiatives that the Panthers have planned for Salute to Service week:
Last week, Panthers Legends, TopCats and Sir Purr visited the Army National Guard in Salisbury, N.C., in partnership with USAA and USO of North Carolina.
This Friday, the Panthers will host a ground-breaking ceremony for a new outdoor military fitness space, in partnership with Veterans Bridge Home and Mecklenburg County, in Veterans Park near Plaza Midwood in Charlotte.
Once again this year, Carolina will participate in the Salute to Heroes program, presented by Lowe's. The team will host 21 Purple Heart recipients and their families throughout the weekend, meeting players after practice on Saturday and then being honored in a special presentation on field during Sunday's game. Players will wear a helmet decal of the initials of a Purple Heart recipient during the game.
On Sunday, the national anthem will be performed by Pete Dupre, a 96-year old World War II veteran playing the harmonica.
The Color Guard will be presented by Joint Services as well as the player's intro tunnel. As part of Operation Game Day in partnership with USO of North Carolina, four military personnel will be selected to lead the players out of the tunnel with the U.S. and state flags.
The Keep Pounding drum will be hit by CSM Annette R. Webber.
Halftime will feature the All-American chorus of the 82nd Airborne Division based out of Fort Bragg outside Fayetteville, N.C.
The Panthers players will run out of the tunnel with American flags and inactive players and coaches will be wearing the team's official Salute to Service sideline gear. Fans can purchase this year's gear through the team store online.
In order to come be a part of the Salute to Service game on Sunday, click here to purchase tickets.