From staff reports

The NFL scored a victory for service members and military families before the first whistle of the new season.

The league announced a $5 million commitment to the USO at an event in Denver on Tuesday. The announcement – which served as a prelude to Thursday’s season-opening game in Denver and a celebration of the newly opened USO Denver Military Entrance Processing Station location – will provide funds to support new USO programming, center expansions and improvements, including funds toward the USO’s Force Behind the Forces: A $7.5M Challenge Campaign.

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The USO opened its latest Military Entrance Processing Station location on Tuesday in Denver with help from the Super Bowl Champions. The event – in coordination with the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign – included a meet-and-greet with former Denver Broncos players and Broncos cheerleaders and a tailgate lunch.

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The USO opened its latest Military Entrance Processing Station location on Tuesday in Denver with help from the Super Bowl Champions. The event – in coordination with the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign – included a meet-and-greet with former Denver Broncos players and Broncos cheerleaders and a tailgate lunch.

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The USO opened its latest Military Entrance Processing Station location on Tuesday in Denver with help from the Super Bowl Champions. The event – in coordination with the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign – included a meet-and-greet with former Denver Broncos players and Broncos cheerleaders and a tailgate lunch.

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The USO opened its latest Military Entrance Processing Station location on Tuesday in Denver with help from the Super Bowl Champions. The event – in coordination with the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign – included a meet-and-greet with former Denver Broncos players and Broncos cheerleaders and a tailgate lunch.

“We are proud of our 50-year relationship with the USO and what we have accomplished together,“ NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a release. "I have had the privilege of participating in our USO tours and experienced firsthand how much NFL football means to our service members overseas.

“We are pleased to renew and strengthen our commitment to our troops and continue to give back to the men and women in uniform that have given so much to all of us.”

The USO’s partnership with the NFL started in 1966, when the league sent players on USO tours to Vietnam visit service members. Recent USO/NFL tour participants include star quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Andrew Luck.

Previous contributions from the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign have funded the construction of facilities – including the USO Pat Tillman Center in Afghanistan and the NFL Sports Lounge at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland – as well as services for military families.

“We look forward to expanding upon our 50-year partnership with the NFL,” USO CEO and President J.D. Crouch II said. “This commitment will allow the USO to reach more service members and military families – ensuring they stay connected to the grateful nation they chose to defend.”

You can send a message of support and thanks directly to service members via the USO’s Campaign to Connect. Your messages will appear on screens at USO locations around the world.