FOXBORO (CBS) — Ahead of the New England Patriots game Sunday afternoon, the team honored real patriots — those who serve our country in the armed forces.

U.S. Army Chief of Staff General James McConville did the honors of swearing new troops in on the field. “Well, this is a very special day because I’m back in my home town. I’m from Quincy, Massachusetts and the way they’re taking care of our soldiers and supporting our military is just great,” he said.

Twenty-six families of fallen service members were also hosted at the game.

Every Pats player wore a special sticker on his helmet with the initials of a man or woman who lose their life while serving.

“It’s definitely an honor to wear a fallen soldiers’ initials on the back of our helmets,” Patriots running back James White said. “We appreciate what their family members  did and their heroes, the ultimate sacrifice and not many people can do what they do and its a pleasure to honor them.”

Matthew Slater, Patriots wide receiver added, “I think it’s important to be reflective and appreciative of those men and women and what they mean in the grand scope of things. I’m happy to honor them this weekend.”

Outside Gillette Stadium was a six-foot-tall memorial for fallen heroes: an American flag made up of 7,000 dog tags from soldiers who have lost their lives since the 9/11 attacks.

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