The NFL started doing "Salute To Service" in 2011 in an effort to Honor, Empower, and Connect our nation's service members, veterans, and their families. It's one of my favorite things the NFL does. It's easy to forget the real reason the Salute To Service initiative is so important and just focus on the fact that the gear that goes along with it is easily the coolest they offer. A friend of mine helped me to truly focus on the good it can do when she shared the above picture with me.

I had heard many stories from my friend about SPC Michael DeMarsico. This is a man that left a lasting impression on his friends, family, and the community of North Adams Mass. He was a hero that ultimately gave his life seeking out and disabling Improvised Explosive Devices. An "IED" is something most of us will only see in movies and luckily never need to concern ourselves with, but DeMarsico chose to seek them out in an effort to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. DeMarsico died from wounds he suffered when he encountered one of those improvised explosive devices. He's remembered by the friends, family members, and the community of North Adams that I mentioned in many ways, the biggest of which is an annual parade held on the first Sunday of every October. Thanks to the New England Patriots we all got to take part in remembering and honoring him last night.


If you look closely you can see the sticker in this picture of Burkhead celebrating with QB Cam Newton.

Getty Images

So last night while many of us were watching with thoughts of playoff position and what a win or loss would mean to the 2020 NFL season, the town of North Adams Mass and anyone that knew 2010 Drury High School graduate that went on to become an American hero, were watching for far more important reasons. Thank you to the Patriots for honoring DeMarsico and his family but more importantly thank you to Michael DeMarsico and the DeMarsico family.