Sunday was “Salute to Service” night at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, to pay special tribute to military men and women.
During halftime of the Cowboys’ win vs. the Colts, 17 Medal of Honor recipients were recognized for their bravery. The Medal of Honor is considered the most prestigious award for military-service valor.
“There are 64 living medal of honor recipients out of 3,515 that have ever been awarded, tonight we have 17 of them here in the building,” said Chris Cassidy, president of the National Medal of Honor Museum.
One of the recipients was Florent Groberg, an Army veteran who served as a captain during the war in Afghanistan. He was granted the Medal of Honor for using his body as a shield to push away a suicide bomber from his fellow troops.
Groberg said being on the national stage on Sunday was a good time to bring awareness of the sacrifices made by those who wear the uniform.
“It’s humbling, it’s incredible, but really for us it’s an opportunity for people to understand the consequences at times of what wearing a uniform and going to war means,” said Groberg.
Groberg’s story and the stories of the 3,515 brave recipients of the prestigious medal since the Civil War will be displayed in the National Medal of Honor Museum. Construction on the Museum commenced in the spring in Arlington.
“The National Medal of Honor Museum is being built here in Arlington, Texas, but it’s a national museum for all Americans to enjoy,” said Cassidy. “It’s just amazing to have this spotlight on the museum.”
The Museum, set at the corner of AT&T Way and Nolan Ryan Expressway, is expected to open in 2024. It will have permanent and rotating exhibits.
Charlotte Jones, Cowboys executive vice president and chief brand officer, is chairman of the board for the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation. The Jones family has contributed $20 million toward the project.
“Every one of those stories is so inspirational, I encourage folks just to read a few chapters or a few paragraphs on a Medal of Honor citation, it blows you away and you’re really proud to be an American when you read those,” said Cassidy.
The 17 Medal of Honor recipients honored at halftime were also special guests at practice Saturday at the Ford Center at The Star.
The Cowboys also honored military men and women with their uniforms on the field Sunday. The Cowboys wore helmets with red, white, and blue striping for a second straight year.
Additionally, the entire offensive line and 26 Cowboys coaches, including head coach Mike McCarthy, wore at least one painted cleat or shoe Sunday in support of the National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation.
“We thought it would be a really cool thing to honor those recipients with the entire offensive line,” right guard Zack Martin said Thursday. “It really is humbling. I got a chance to meet ‘Flo’ (retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg), a Medal of Honor recipient, a couple weeks ago. I just think it’s so cool.
“I don’t think a lot of people understand the sacrifice that these guys have gone through. A lot of these who received the medal, there were a lot of people, their teammates, who didn’t make it home.”