NEW ORLEANS, La (BRPROUD) – The New Orleans Saints and Community Coffee Company honored a fallen soldier at the New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons game.
On Sunday, Nov. 7, U.S. Army PFC Brian R. Bates Jr. was recognized as the honorary captain for the Saints’ Salute to Service game. Bate’s family was present and the team paid tribute to him by wearing his initials on their helmets.
Bates was a United States Army Private First Class member who was killed in October 2009 when his vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device. Bates received Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Metal, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert with Rifle Bar, and Overseas Service Bar according to an official New Orleans Saints press release. Bates was born in Gretna, La in 1989.
This tribute is part of Community Coffee’s Honorary Captain Program. The coffee company and the NFL team have also partnered with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) to honor Bates. TAPS is a program that provides comfort, care, and resources to all those grieving the death of someone in the military.