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Charger, Raider fans to pay tribute to veterans

DefenseQualcomm Inc.Veterans AffairsSan Diego ChargersOakland RaidersNFL

SAN DIEGO - Before the Chargers and Raiders take to the field Thursday night, everyone in Qualcomm Stadium will send a special message to military veterans.

"On game day, 20 U.S. cadets down on the field and everyone that’s here in the stands will grab their respective card and on cue we’ll tell everyone to lift their cards and it will say something,” Malia Fong, ROTC Battalion Cadet Executive Officer.  "Thank YOU veterans, thank you military."

The simple message took months of coordinating by the USAA. Fong and 44 other volunteers from the San Diego State University's Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) program spent the day taping 50,000 cards to seats in Qualcomm stadium.

“I think everyone pretty much knows someone or has someone in their family who is in the military," Fong said.  "Those who are in the military or who have been in the military are fighting for our freedom. That’s why we’re here today and even able to put these cards here.”

That message is something these future members of the military take seriously and they’re hoping other NFL fans will share their enthusiasm.

“We just hope that they appreciate that it is Veterans Day," John Hancock of USAA said. "If you see a veteran, tell them that you appreciate them and tell them thank you for their service.”

USAA is sponsoring this tribute and 5 others across the country.

“We think it’s going to look great and if you’re not at the game participating," said Hancock. "We’re hoping that you can watch the game on television and see that great messaging.”

Game coverage kicks off at 5 p.m. on Fox 5 San Diego.

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