Saints, Community Coffee pay tribute to fallen soldier at Saints vs. Falcons game, will wear initials on helmets

Local News

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.

Photo courtesy of New Orleans Saints and WGNO.

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.

Photo courtesy of New Orleans Saints and New Orleans Pelicans Communications Team.

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.

The oldest U.S. World War II veteran, Lawrence Brooks, was also at Sunday’s game.

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