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A salute to the veterans in stripes

We recognize with profound respect all those who have served our country on this day, and we salute the veterans on the NFL officiating staff.

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We recognize with profound respect all those who have served our country on this day. As we pause today to reflect on their exceptional sacrifices in the defense of liberty and freedom, we also salute the veterans on the NFL officiating staff.

“Each year it is our honor to join in saluting our nation’s veterans, active duty service members and their families,” said NFL Referees Association president Carl Paganelli. “They make extraordinary sacrifices to protect all Americans, and today the NFLRA thanks those in our ranks who have served our country.”

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LJ59 Rusty Baynes, U.S. Marine Corps, 1988-94, working the Commanders-Seahawks game this weekend.

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LJ44 SSgt. Frank LeBlanc, Texas Army National Guard, 1983-2004, who is off this weekend

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FJ109 Dyrol Prioleau, U.S. Air Force, 1982-2005, working the Lions-Chargers game this weekend.

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FJ31 Tech Sgt. Mearl Robinson, U.S. Air Force, 1998-2018, working the Saints-Vikings game this weekend.

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BJ12 Greg Steed, U.S. Marine Corps and Reserves, 1986-94, also working the Saints-Vikings game.

RO Matt Sumstine, U.S. Navy, 1980-84, working the Packers-Steelers game this weekend.

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BJ38 Greg Yette, U.S. Army Infantry, 1991-92, working the 49ers-Jaguars game this weekend.

RO Artenzia Young-Seigler, U.S. Army, U.S. Army National Guard, and U.S. Army Reserve, 1997-2005

We also extend our thanks to our colleague, Football Zebras writer Rich Madrid, a 10-year U.S. Navy veteran who was deployed three times to the Middle East.

In time, we may see many more veterans in stripes, thanks to Battlefields to Ballfields — a charitable organization founded in 2016 by Mike Pereira that trains and equips veterans for officiating.

Photos: Getty Images, NFL handout photos

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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