Patriots lengthy snapper Joe Cardona received the NFL’s Salute to Service award Wednesday, the league introduced.
The award acknowledges the distinctive efforts by members of the NFL household to honor and help the army group. Cardona is a lieutenant within the Navy Reserve and will likely be acknowledged at NFL Honors on Thursday night time, a primetime awards present aired from Las Vegas.
“Joe Cardona represents the epitome of the NFL’s Salute to Service Award,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell mentioned in a press release. “His commitment to honoring, empowering, and connecting with the military community as an active service member, while also dedicated to his Patriots teammates, truly sets him apart. He is the true embodiment of what it means to be an American hero.”
Cardona is the thirteenth winner of the award and a nine-year NFL starter. He entered the league as a fifth-round select of Navy in 2015. As a rookie, he pulled double-duty working because the Patriots’ lengthy snapper and as an Ensign within the Navy. Two years later was promoted to lieutenant junior grade.
Cardona presently serves because the division head of Maritime Security Squadron 8, headquartered in Newport, Rhode Island. He oversees the logistical wants of 500 sailors throughout the jap seaboard and has beforehand supported efforts in Africa and the Korean peninsula.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive the NFL Salute to Service Award. I am thankful to the New England Patriots organization for accommodating my military service, and I hope to be a model for future players who wish to serve,” Cardona mentioned within the assertion. “I appreciate the partnership between the NFL and our military and the role I have been able to play in it. On the field, I hope to represent the fighting spirit of our veterans, as well as my brothers and sisters in arms whom I serve alongside today.”
Cardona is very concerned in the neighborhood and helps army households by organizations just like the Travis Manion Foundation, devoted to empowering veterans and households of fallen heroes. He additionally contributes at occasions, such because the Brothers of Life, which brings collectively Americans and Israeli wounded troopers.
In previous years, Cardona has organized efforts to donate Patriots sport tickets to army members and their households. Cardona has additionally led free soccer clinics and toy drives for army kids, and presided over greater than a dozen re-enlistment and retirement ceremonies at Gillette Stadium.
Every yr, all 32 NFL groups nominate one individual for the Salute to Service award earlier than finalists are chosen by a fan vote, award sponsor USAA and inner NFL committee. USAA is a number one insurance coverage supplier for U.S. army members, veterans and their households. The firm will donate $25,000 in Cardona’s honor to the official help societies representing every of the army branches.