What to watch for in Carolina's Salute to Service game

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Sunday's home game against the Buccaneers marks the Panthers' annual celebration and honoring of military members and their families as part of the NFL's Salute to Service initiative, presented by USAA.

Before the game, there will be several tributes to members of all branches of the military.

  • The virtual invocation will be delivered by Rabbi Sandra Lawson, a U.S. Army veteran and associate chaplain for Jewish Life at Elon University. She served in military police investigations, specializing in child abuse and domestic violence, and is one of the first openly gay, black female rabbis in the country.
  • There will be a joint color guard with members of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard from bases across North and South Carolina.
  • The national anthem will be performed virtually by John Thompson, a WWII veteran and retired Marine Corps drill instructor from Kannapolis, N.C.
  • The Keep Pounding drummer is retired Brigadier General Vic Petrenko, a 31-year veteran with deployments in Germany, Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The Lowe's Row of Honor will include: Air Force Airmen of the Year, Senior Airman Isaac Smith & Airman First Class Alysa Yates; Coast Guard Guardsman of the Year, Operations Specialist Second Class Daniel Allen; National Guard Soldier of the Year, Sergeant First Class Kevin Kenna; Navy Sailor of the Year Hospital Corpsman First Class, William McGrath; Army Soldier of the Year, Specialist Truxton Bordhead
  • The Panthers TopCats cheerleaders will be wearing masks donning the name of an active North or South Carolina service member currently deployed. At the conclusion of the game, the TopCats will be sending written letters of gratitude and fan packs including the 2020 Panthers Challenge coin to be mailed to the service member they are individually representing.

Throughout the week, the Panthers participated in a number of activities and events to honor and support members of the military within the Carolinas:

The team put Salute to Service stickers on players helmets as they read about the military members they will be representing on the field. Derrick Brown spoke about what military service meant for his family.

Three World War II veterans were recognized on a special Salute to Service game ball, in partnership with Lowe's. Kicker Joey Slye spoke with them in a special, engaging conversation about what it means to serve.

In partnership with Lowe's, the Panthers created a co-branded challenge coin that will be used throughout Salute to Service week.

In partnership with USAA, the team had veterans in bases in North and South Carolina flip the official Salute to Service coin.

In partnership with Crown Royal, the Panthers encouraged fans to help pack bags virtually for veterans overseas as part of the Purple Bag Project. Find out more here.

View pictures inside the Panthers locker room before the Panthers host the Buccaneers in Week 10.

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