Chiefs defensive end Mike DeVito has been nominated for the Salute to Service Award, the league announced on Nov. 12.
The award is presented annually to a league member who demonstrates an exemplary commitment to honoring and supporting the military community.
DeVito has taken part in numerous community service events supporting the military since he joined the Chiefs in 2013. He was nominated by the Chiefs because of his collaboration with Snowball Express, which gives surviving spouses and children of fallen heroes the opportunity to visit the Chiefs’ training camp in St. Joseph. DeVito also leads player groups on visits to Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leavenworth and has partnered with Pro vs. G.I. Joe, which provides deployed troops an opportunity to go head-to-head in online video game competitions against professional athletes.
“One thing that’s always been important to me is recognizing the military,” DeVito said. “I’ve always envied how tough they are — I wish I could be that tough — and I’m just grateful for their sacrifice because I know that we couldn’t play this game or make all this money or do all this stuff without them.”
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DeVito said both of his grandfathers served in the military, and he grew up wanting to go to West Point.
“I went on a recruiting trip, and seeing these kids at 17 years old, and they were up at 4:30 in the morning running through a ropes course and getting yelled at, and I remember thinking, ‘Man, I can’t do it,’ ” DeVito said. “Those guys were mentally tough then at 17, so I have nothing put respect for those guys.”
Finalists for the award will be announced in January, and the winner will be recognized at the “Fifth Annual NFL Honors” awards show in San Francisco on CBS on Saturday, Feb. 6, the night before Super Bowl 50.