Standard-issue camouflage almost outnumbered the fan-favorite purple variety as the Ravens celebrated Veterans Day and honored veterans before Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders at M&T; Bank Stadium.
Dozens of veterans, many in uniform, from all major conflicts since World War II attended Sunday’s game, and soldiers in active duty in Afghanistan greeted fans via a live feed to the stadium’s video boards. The national anthem, sung by Mishael Miller as veterans flanked him on the field, was capped by an A-10 flyover by the Maryland Air National Guard.
The Ravens wore helmets with camouflage ribbon decals on the back. The stadium was decked out, too, with camouflage goal post wraps, pylons with camouflage ribbon decals and the words “Salute to Service” stenciled into the white boundary lines underneath both sets of goal posts.
Even the Ravens cheerleading squad got in the act by shaking red, white and blue pompoms.
The Maryland National Guard’s B Company 3rd of the 126th and C Company of the 169th, which is based out of Edgewood and currently stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, participated in the live feed before the game. On Friday, as team and stadium officials tested out the feed at the stadium, five local families came and got a chance to chat with their loved ones overseas.
Sgt. Emily Thompson Schelberg, the 2012 NFL-Tillman Military Scholar, was also honored on the field during the game. Thompson Schelberg, a native of Towson, had served in the Marine Corps in Iraq and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in nursing at Johns Hopkins University.
On Tuesday, Ravens players and staff will visit veterans at the Baltimore V.A. Medical Center.