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49ers Pay Tribute to Armed Forces

Posted by Alex Espinoza on November 7, 2012 – 4:01 PM

In a fitting Veteran’s Day tribute, the 49ers will be recognizing the men and women serving the United States across the world this Sunday when they face the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park.

A camouflaged ribbon sticker has been placed on each gold helmet this week, along with the player’s choice of another sticker to recognize the five branches of our armed forces. Of the 53 49ers, 13 chose Marines or Navy stickers, 11 chose Army, nine chose Air Force and seven chose Coast Guard.

For Tavares Gooden, picking an Army sticker was a no-brainer.

Gooden joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps as a high school student in Florida, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who served in the Army, and a brother who served in the Navy. Gooden reached the rank of Sgt. 1st Class during his time with the ROTC, and has since tattooed the Sgt. 1st Class patch on to his left shoulder.

“I was raised in a military family so that’s why I did ROTC,” Gooden said. “I learned leadership, discipline and how to defend myself – key characteristics of life.”

Daniel Kilgore also had a good reason to pick his Marines sticker. Two of his best friends from college at Appalachian State have already served two terms in Iraq, but have since returned safely. One is currently stationed in San Diego, while the other is in South Carolina.

“It’s always nice when you can pay tribute to them for serving our country,” Kilgore said. “I’m so blessed for what my boys have done and enabled me to do. I look at that, for sure.”

Meanwhile, Ian Williams has different logic for choosing to represent Navy’s emblem.

“They beat us three times while I was in college, so I had to show them some respect,” the Notre Dame alum said. “But it’s an honor to be representing those guys and show respect for all they do for us.”

The 49ers also hosted nearly 40 servicemen and women to watch Wednesday’s practice at the team facility, before Sunday’s Salute to Service at Candlestick Park.

The 49ers and USAA have teamed up for a day-long celebration of our military that includes a Wounded Warriors presentation, a tribute to veterans, the swearing-in of new members of the United States Army, and a stadium card stunt honoring those who have given of themselves to protect our freedom.  To download and share exclusive photos of Sunday’s card stunt, visit millionfansalute.com.

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Posted in Announcements | 7 Comments »


7 Responses to “49ers Pay Tribute to Armed Forces”

  1. By Corey on Nov 7, 2012 | Reply

    I am a die hard 49ers fan and always have been. It is both a blessing and a curse that I chose to join the US Navy. I get to do and see some amazing things because of it, but currently I am stationed in VA. I watch every game I get the chance to, but this Sunday I have duties that will keep me from the game. I say thank you for your tribute and you are welcome for keeping this Nation free and proud. Who’s got it better than us?!?!?!?!?!

  2. By Veronica on Nov 7, 2012 | Reply

    We are forty niner fans to the fullest in my family I have even got my stepson to be a forty niner fan and he had the pleasure of meeting Patrick Willis :). I think its awesome how you are all showing support to the soldiers who keep our nation free I too am very appreciative to them all for what they do for us. And I also loved the tribute last month you all did for breast cancer awareness I lost my mom to breast cancer 4 years ago and thanks to Patrick Willis who got our tickets we were able to be there to see the ceremony at half time . But I would.like to say what about kids with cancer like my stepson who is ten years old fighting stage 4 HCC. Childhood cancer awareness month was in September but it hardly gets any recognition and yet our children are fighting a battle they never even enlisted for :( …I think it would be awesome to see the NfL honor our kids and wear GOLD in September for them. Gold is the color for childhood cancer and September is their month but our kids fight everyday before September and everyday after. HOPE I GET A REPLY THAT WOULD BE AWESOME! :) I will be looking forward to watching the tribute to our military on Sunday though and again I thank you all for all you do for our country because I know you all are also fighting before veterans day and after. And as always “LETS DO THIS NIIIINERS!!!”

  3. By Josie on Nov 7, 2012 | Reply

    I am a faithful and have been for 29+ years. I am a proud Air Force wife and I Thank You for your tribute.
    You guys are fantastic, you play good old fashioned fundamental football, and have true respect for the game. I am proud to call you my team.
    And by the way, I was the lady sitting behind you in the front row on the 45 yard line at the Pro Bowl yelling your names over and over. Staley was sitting right in front of me and I know he heard me yell his name 100 times. You know you heard me.:)

  4. By Craig Ziegler on Nov 8, 2012 | Reply

    This Vietnam Veteran loves his 49ers

  5. By SFC Watson Matthew on Nov 8, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you back to all the 49er staff for your support.I have deployed twice to Iraq and once to afgan and served 18 and 1/2 years to the greatest nation in the world and the suppertwe are reciving is so fabulous I have to say thank you for your great support. we love the FREEDOM we support thats why we do. PS Im a seahwaks fan always have been but we are all americans and we all LOVE FOOTBALL so for tonight GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. By SSG Shankar on Nov 8, 2012 | Reply

    I served 9yrs in the ARMY US PARATROOPER, worked with 5th Special Forces Group based out of Fort Campbell, KY I was 49er fan before i joined the military and still a 49er fan. We never could afford to go to the games just watched games on TV. I became a season ticket holder and take my kids to the game they love it. I am greatful for NFL to honor our VETS and active duty soldiers. God Bless this country. If i can change a policy ,I would require anybody who wants to run for elected position in state or Federal has to serve the country min. of 4yrs active or 2yrs active and 2yrs reserve. These elected officials will gain more respect then any thing.

  7. By michelle on Nov 9, 2012 | Reply

    I am a diehard 49er fan and wife of a recent military reitree (and by recent I mean Nov 1 2012) who gave 28 years of his life to service. I think it is great that the 49ers are honoring our vets!

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