While Coughlin’s relationship with Gadson has certainly been a factor in his appreciate of the military, Coughlin has a long history of honoring the troops. During the National Anthem, he always places his hat over his heart and places one foot on the 50-yard line. Military members often stand on the sidelines during games. In 2009, he went on a USO tour of Iraq and Afghanistan. Like Gene Simmons, he visits wounded warriors in the hospital. The laundry list is too long to complete here.
Along the way, he has also become friends with GEN Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff, who presented Coughlin with the Outstanding Civilian Service Award. Odierno happens to be a big Giants fan. They first met when Odierno was the Commanding General of Multi-National Force – Iraq. That’s military talk for, “he ran the whole damn country.”
The work and sacrifices of our military on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan has inspired Coughlin. He isn’t the first celebrity to catch the bug and he certainly won’t be the last. I’m sure if you were to ask him why he dedicates so much time to the troops, he would probably say he gets back far more than he gives. I’m glad the Army has taken a moment to recognize Coughlin’s dedication. We’ve been at war for so long now, it can be easy to forget that our sons and daughters patrol dirt roads and back alleys at this very moment. Some of them won’t make it home. Tom Coughlin has not forgotten and I appreciate him for that.