November is Salute to Service month around the National Football League, and I’d like to take a moment to spotlight the Minnesota Vikings’ nominee for the annual USAA Salute to Service Award.
This year’s nominee from the Vikings is assistant special teams coach Ben Kotwica, who is in his first season with Minnesota. Here’s a bit about Kotwica (pronounced cot-WEE-kuh) from a release by the National Football League:
Ben Kotwica, Minnesota Vikings Assistant Special Teams Coordinator, embodies each tenet of the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign to honor, empower and connect service members, veterans and their families. Coach Kotwica honors veterans and military members through service of his own. He is a decorated officer who spent eight years in the U.S. Army after graduating from West Point. His military career included operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea and Iraq. Kotwica was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Aviation Branch of the Army and was selected to fly the AH-64 Apache Longbow, the world’s top attack helicopter. He was an Attack Helicopter Platoon Leader in support of the 82nd Airborne Division from 1998-2001 where he was responsible for the health and welfare of 20 soldiers. Coach Kotwica makes it a point to honor the military community by thanking military guests – veterans or otherwise – who attend games. He knows firsthand the sacrifices each service member or veteran is required to make and is sure to acknowledge it whenever he gets a chance. Being a veteran and NFL coach, Kotwica appreciates the Salute to Service campaign each season in how the League honors, empowers, and connects with the brave men and women who ensure our freedom.
Everybody is allowed one vote per day, which you can cast by going to NFL.com/SaluteFanVote. The voting will run through 30 November. The finalists will be named in early January, with the winner of the award being recognized at this year’s NFL Honors ceremony during Super Bowl week.
Congratulations to Ben Kotwica on his nomination as this year’s USAA Salute to Service nominee from the Minnesota Vikings. Here’s hoping that he can make it far enough to have an opportunity to win this year’s award.