BOSTON (CBS) — Ahead of Sunday night’s win over the Green Bay Packers at Gillette Stadium, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shared a special moment with a 102-year-old veteran.
As part of the NFL’s Salute To Service campaign, the Patriots honored World World II veteran Norman Taché during Sunday night’s game. The lifelong Patriots fan was also celebrating his 102nd birthday that evening, and received quite the surprise before the clash.
As he and his grandson enjoyed the sights and sounds on the field ahead of the game, they got the chance to meet and have a brief chat with Belichick:
“It’s an honor to meet you,” Belichick told Taché. “Thank you for being here. 102. I love it”
Taché also met Patriots owner Robert Kraft ahead of the game, who asked him to be the team’s honorary captain. Taché got to participate in the coin toss and was given the coin as a souvenir.
On Tuesday, Belichick was asked if he was honored to be playing on Veteran’s Day this year, which falls on Sunday.
“Absolutely. As they say, Veterans Day, Memorial Day – those are the holidays that make all of the other holidays possible. Without the sacrifices that people have made ahead of us and the ones that are currently making them today for us, we wouldn’t even be playing these games or having any holidays or anything else,” said Belichick. “Certainly recognizing those men and women in our armed services and the sacrifices that they’ve made, we’ll do that. We always do it.
“The Salute to Service was a great thing last weekend and then the actual Veterans Day holiday itself coming this weekend. We’ll certainly talk about that,” Belichick continued. “We have a veteran on our team, which is pretty special, too. I think everybody appreciates the sacrifices that Joe [Cardona] has made and continues to make as part of the reserves. Many of us have family members that have served or are serving throughout the organization. It’s a very important day for me, for our team and really for our country.”
The Patriots will take on the Titans in Tennessee on Sunday afternoon.
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Titans clash at 1 p.m. on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots. Coverage begins Friday night at 7 p.m. with Patriots All Access and kicks off Sunday morning with Patriots GameDay at 11:30 a.m. After the game, you can catch Bill Belichick and Tom Brady’s press conferences LIVE on Patriots 5th Quarter on myTV38!