New Orleans Saints to Honor Fallen Soldier at This Sunday’s Game, Wearing His Initials on Helmets
The New Orleans Saints and Community Coffee will be honoring a fallen soldier at the Falcons-Saints game this Sunday, November 7 at the Caesars Superdome.
U.S. Army PFC Brian R. Bates Jr. will be recognized as the honorary captain for the Saints' Salute to Service Game.
Bates' family will be in attendance and the team will pay tribute to him by wearing his initials on their helmets.
Brian Bates was a native of Gretna, Louisiana born in 1989. He was a United States Army Private First Class member who was killed in October 2009 when his vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device.
Bates received a Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert with Rifle Bar, and Overseas Service Bar.
This tribute is part of Community Coffee's Honorary Captain Program. The company and the NFL team have also partnered with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to honor Bates. TAPS is a program that provides comfort, care, and resources to all those grieving the death of someone in the military.
(And a reminder that next Thursday, November 11 is Veterans Day in the United States.)