More than most NFL teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers strive to do their best to retain good relations with the various branches of those who serve. Only a very small part of that has to do with the fact that one of their current players is a former Army Ranger, but it certainly doesn’t help.
Situated at the confluence of about a billion rivers, the Steelers’ stadium also relies upon the services of certain segments of service more than most NFL teams. The organization routinely works in conjunction with the Coast Guard during home games in order to ensure the safety of those in and around the nearby bodies of water.
Recently, the Coast Guard Enlisted Association—specifically the Steel City Branch—honored the Steelers by presenting them a plaque for their cooperation with the Coast Guard over a period of years. A small ceremony was held at Heinz Field, presided over by Jim Rooney, the brother of Art Rooney II, the second-youngest of nine siblings.
The Coast Guard Enlisted Association is not directly a part of the Coast Guard itself but is rather a non-profit consisting of members of the Coast Guard and works both with them and with the communities in which each branch is based.
“This is in appreciation for the generosity and support of what the Steelers do. We appreciate it very much”, branch president Trevor Vannatta said.
According to Teresa Varley, the Coast Guard often serves a variety of roles in the team’s home games, including the presenting of colors. They also work with the Steelers in a number of their charity and military-based salutary events, such as the Salute to Service games. She writes that the team also hosts ceremonies for retirements, swearing ins, and changes of command.
“We are grateful for the work that you do”, Rooney told the gathered members of the Coast Guard participating in the event. “Our team has tried to be supportive of all branches of the services for many years. That’s important to us. We have players engaged, people in the organization or their families who have served. We are grateful for what you do. We are privileged to work with you”.
Each Coast Guard member in attendance received coins that were specially made for the event, in addition to autographed footballs and, of course, Terrible Towels. You can see an image of the coin through the embedded link above. it actually looks pretty cool.
As I said yesterday regarding the charity basketball game, it’s not necessarily the most exciting thing, but it’s the sort of positive story that frankly often doesn’t get as much attention as it ought to, especially when juxtaposed against the amount of attention that the drama of the day receives.