WESTFIELD, Ind. — The Colts honor community heroes with a new day of appreciation for frontline workers and armed forces at training camp Tuesday morning.
The days are being combined because Armed Forces Day got rained out last week.
A representative from the team says it’s a way to give back to both groups.
“This is just really our way of saying thank you to all of the heroes in our community who do so much to keep us safe. Whether that’s overseas, whether that’s here, or whether that’s all of our healthcare workers,” said Colts Vice President of Marketing Stephanie Pemberton.
Colts fans from each group say it’s good to know their hard work and time served is appreciated.
“Honestly, it’s been very stressful. It’s very, very tiring,” said Julie Glover, the director of patient safety for Franciscan Alliance.
She says she’s been on the frontlines of the healthcare system the entire pandemic.
“It’s sad, not only because of the severity of the COVID, but just to see the stress that all the staff has gone through — that all of the patients and families have gone through,” said Glover.
She says the public gratitude, like healthcare parades, have made all the difference but they’ve faded a bit. Until now, with this new appreciation day from the Colts.
“To have people that we look up to turn back and say, ‘You know we haven’t forgotten about you. We are really celebrating what you’re doing,’ is just huge. Because we really haven’t had that as much lately,” said Glover.
Julie considers herself a big Colts fan and is grateful for their appreciation.
“I’ve had tickets since the first year they were here. I was blessed to get to go to the winning Super Bowl in Miami and just came back from Canton to watch Edge and Peyton be enshrined into the hall of fame,” Glover said.
“They are heroes to us, and so it’s so cool to have them kind of turn that mirror and go, ‘Hey, you guys in healthcare are heroes to us.”
“One of the things that’s been disappointing has been, as this drags on, and as we are more short-staffed, and as people are tired, and as people are seeing our numbers go back up… there’s not a lot to celebrate. There’s not a lot to take pride in. And so, for somebody to sort of reset that a little bit, and say, we know you’re still there, is really huge. And it is much appreciated.”
Frontline Worker Day is new, but Armed Forces Day has been going for years.
“Well, I’m pretty biased, but I absolutely think the Colts are a great organization for what they do for military members,” said Perry Fiscus.
Fiscus served in the Air Force out of high school, and as a self-proclaimed monstrous Colts fan and member of the Blue Crew tailgating group, he’s excited to see Armed Forces Day back this year.
“I think it’s great that they’re doing that. That they’re putting the effort into acknowledging the sacrifices that some families have made,” Fiscus said.
He says what they are doing is great to pay respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
“I love the Colts for doing that. I think it’s great.”
Now that it’s back, there will be military vehicles on display for families to take pictures with and discounted concessions with a military ID and for frontline workers. They will also be hosting special guests in their hospitality suites.