The Salute to Service Award recognizes NFL players, alumni, coaches, owners, executives and front-office staff who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community.
Tillman comes from a military family himself; both his wife and uncle are sergeant first class.
During this season’s bye week, Tillman flew to Fort Hood, Texas to donate notebook computers, DVD players, digital cameras and MP3 players as part of Charles’ Locker. The donations went to children and families that were in the hospital undergoing recovery and treatment. While he was there, he signed autographs and visited patients.
Last spring, he visited troops in Iraq and Kuwait. He took part in a meet-and-greet with the troops stationed at Joint Base Balad, Iraq and stayed to have dinner with the service members.
Tillman and Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik are the two finalists that beat out 20 other candidates for this award.
Tillman is also a finalist this for this year’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
It’s always nice to see good people in this world be recognized for their generosity. We see all too often the ugly side of things, especially in sports. Whether it’s a player getting caught cheating, off the field issues, or even just a player with a bad attitude, it’s a nice reminder that this is just a game and that there are other pressing issues in the world.
For a player the caliber of Tillman’s, these type of honors can go under the radar. I believe these type of awards mean more to him than any pro bowl or all-team or all-conference accomplishment could ever in his career.