Philadelphia Eagles News

Ertz Nominated For Salute To Service Award

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On this Memorial Day, we take a look at some photos and program covers from World War II which affected the NFL ...

Each and every week, Zach Ertz is able to put on his Eagles jersey and compete with his teammates. For the tight end, football is far more than his job. It's the game he loves, what he's most passionate about.

Ertz has never lost sight of how fortunate he is to play, a privilege he attributes to the men and women of the armed forces. They protect the freedom of Americans on a daily basis, and while some may idolize Ertz for his heroics on the field, he believes those in the military are the true heroes.

This week, the tight end was named the Eagles' nominee for the fifth annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA due to his commitment to supporting the military community.

As often as possible, he gives game tickets and sideline passes to past and current servicemen, meeting with the individuals either before or after the matchup to share his gratitude.

In fact, the third-year Eagle does his best to meet with any service member he sees on the sidelines. It's his way of saying thank you to those who have given up so much for this country, those who should be honored.

The second #EaglesCamp Open Practice honored our service men and women. View the full gallery from Military Appreciation Day...

"Anything we can do to help the guys that sacrifice everything for us means the world to me," Ertz explained. "We're able to play this game because of people like that, all the servicemen that go out and protect this country and protect our freedom."

"Whenever I have extra tickets, I try to give them to veterans or some of the people that are in between tours so they have something to enjoy, whether they're Eagles fans or not. They do so much for us that goes unnoticed that it doesn't matter to me whether they're Eagles fans or not. I just want to give back to them."

This season, the NFL is donating $1,000 for every point scored in designated Salute to Service games. As of today, Veterans Day, $658,000 has been raised. The money goes to the league's three military non-profit partners, including the Pat Tillman Foundation, USO and Wounded Warrior Project.

The winner of the 2015 Salute to Service Award will be announced on February 6 at the 5th Annual NFL Honors awards show, which takes place in San Francisco the night before Super Bowl 50.

Win or lose, Ertz will continue to give back to those in the military however he can. He is eternally grateful for what these men and women do for our country, a feeling all Americans should possess.

These brave individuals allow us to live in freedom, a gift that should never be taken for granted. 

"I do what I can for them just because of the respect that I have for those guys and the stuff that they do each and every day," Ertz said. "Playing football is a game compared to what they do.

"Any time you can recognize those people you should. Salute to Service month should be every month of the year though. It's not a one-month type thing, one November. It should be every month because we're all able to do what we love because of what they sacrifice every day."

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