PLEASE NOTE: The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on BaltimoreRavens.com represent those of individual authors, and unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Baltimore Ravens' organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. Authors' views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Ravens officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.
John Harbaugh has been active in his support of the military during his time as the Ravens head coach, and on Wednesday he will be honored with an award from the U.S. Army.
Harbaugh will receive one of five Outstanding Civilian Service Awards from Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the Chief of Staff of the Army. The award will be presented during a ceremony at 6 p.m. at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va.
“We all have our battles and fights, but these guys in the military, they fight all of our battles,” Harbaugh said Wednesday after practice. “They fight the battle for each and every one of us who are Americans every day to keep us safe and to keep us secure and to give us the opportunity to live a life in freedom. What greater mission is there than that?
“To me, it’s not really particularly deserved, but it will be enjoyed and appreciated.”
The citation that will be presented to Harbaugh will read:
“For outstanding service to the United States Army, Soldiers, families, veterans and military communities. Your visit to Iraq and your initiatives to show thanks to service members for their service through appreciation days, opportunities to attend Baltimore Ravens practices and games and to meet team members have improved morale and created a sense of pride and appreciation among our servicemen and women. Through your visits to military installations you have increased morale, inspired leadership and created a mutual sense of respect and appreciation between the U.S. Army and the National Football League. Your voluntary efforts to purchase, package and send care packages around the world have had direct, positive impacts on our deployed Soldiers living in austere conditions. Your selfless, outstanding contributions have improved the health and readiness of the United States Army.”
Odierno and Harbaugh met on the USO tour in 2009, and since then Harbaugh has invited Odierno to the Ravens facility to deliver motivational messages to the team. Also, during the holidays last year, Harbaugh organized an effort within the Ravens to send care packages and Christmas cards to military personnel in Afghanistan.
“We’ll do anything we can do to help in some small way,” Harbaugh said.