NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans players, cheerleaders and staff hosted soldiers from nearby Fort Campbell Army Post Sunday at LP Field for a special "Salute to Service" event that was presented by Lend Lease.
Ten Titans, including West Point graduate and Army Reserves Capt. Collin Mooney, signed autographs, posed for pictures with fans and shared smiles before attendees were treated to a screening of Despicable Me 2 on the TitanTron video boards. The guests were able to tour the Titans' locker room and watch the movie from the playing surface.
"It's amazing. To put a smile on kids' faces is great, and I understand what military families go through and how much they sacrifice," Mooney said. "To be able to give back in this way and make the kids happy, have them a minute to give them as a family unit, that's what it's all about."
Lend Lease Managing Director Marc Sierra said the day was a great way to celebrate soldiers and their families for the sacrifices they make to serve the country. Lend Lease provides housing for about 4,000 families at Fort Campbell and also sponsored the "Salute to Service" Titans game that honored Veterans Day last November.
"We're always looking for ways to support Fort Campbell and support the families of Fort Campbell," Sierra said. "We were anxious to sponsor. I just can't say enough about the Tennessee Titans' organization."
Brig. Gen. Mark Stammer, the deputy commanding general for the 101st Airborne Air Assault, said the event was "tremendous for our families."
The Titans hosted soldiers who are based at nearby Fort Campbell and their families for a special "Salute to Service" Movie Day at LP Field presented by Lend Lease. The day also included autographs with Titans players.
"We move frequently, every two or three years on average so it's important to come in and establish yourself within a community," Stammer said. "Community events like this are tremendously important for our families because it makes them feel like they're at home even when they may be miles away from their family."
Levitre said he enjoyed interacting with the soldiers and their families and the opportunity to directly express his appreciation.
"It's actually been awhile since I've been out in the community to help out, so it's always good to be back here in Nashville and meet people and spend time with those that protect us," Levitre said. "It's something simple for us to do, but it means a lot to them."
Woodyard, who signed with Tennessee last month and celebrated the birth of his son this weekend, said it was a great opportunity to greet others and feel welcome in his new community.
"It's very important that we give back, most importantly to our troops that support us every day and protect us," Woodyard said. "It's key that we come out here and show the love that they show to us. It's amazing to see the kids out here enjoying our battlefield and being on the football field and seeing smiling faces is great. … This is what the game of football is all about: bringing people together, all races, all creeds, and the military families love us and we support them as well."
Stammer said the families will remember the experiences they had during the "Salute to Service" movie event.
"How many young kids get to spend time with their mom and dad on the football field of an NFL team? It's a memory they'll carry with them for a lifetime," Stammer said. "Fortunately, there are a lot of good memories with being in the military, and every now and then, there's some hardships, but days like today, they'll remember forever."
About Lend Lease
Lend Lease is a leading international property and infrastructure group. Listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and with circa 16,500 employees worldwide, the firm's capabilities span the property and infrastructure spectrum.
In the US, Lend Lease's public partnership business is the nation's leader in public/private community development. With a focus on creating sustainable value, Lend Lease creates communities that regenerate our environment, enrich people's lives and foster economic growth. Lend Lease has worked extensively with the Department of Defense through the Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI), a program that provides for the transfer of military housing assets to private sector companies. With over 40,000 residential units, 192 apartments and more than 11,600 hotel rooms in its portfolio, Lend Lease will finance, develop, build, renovate and operate these sites for at least 50 years.
We create innovative and sustainable property solutions, forging partnerships and delivering maximum benefits to clients, investors and communities. Safety is our number one priority and Lend Lease is committed to operating Incident & Injury Free wherever we have a presence.
About the Lend Lease (US) Community Fund The Lend Lease (US) Community Fund is a nonprofit organization that focuses its efforts on supporting the Military men and women who live in our homes and neighborhoods and the communities where Lend Lease employees work and live. We support growth and development by funding projects that address community challenges in the areas of housing, education, health, economic development, and environmental sustainability and create or support programming that improves the quality of life for Military families who sacrifice so much for us. For more information on supporting our efforts, please log onto www.lendlease.com.