49ers Deliver 1,300 Care Packages to Military Fighting COVID-19

GETTY Jimmy Garoppolo #10 and Ben Garland #63 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrate a touchdown in the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Championship game at Levi's Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Santa Clara, California.

The San Francisco 49ers are one of the NFL’s most active organizations when it comes to community outreach, and that reach extends to those serving the country.

On Wednesday, the 49ers announced that they are delivering over 1,300 care packages to local military bases and units that are attempting to help in the response and fight against the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

San Francisco offensive lineman and National Guard captain Ben Garland went on the team’s official Twitter account Wednesday to express the franchise’s gratitude for those in service and what the 49ers are doing to help.

“Now more than ever, we need to come together as a community,” Garland said. “I want to personally thank the military service members who are on specific orders supporting the COVID-19 relief efforts. Our troops continue to answer the call and they have been instrumental in our domestic response to this pandemic. It is essential that we support our troops and I want to thank USAA, the official Salute to Service partners of the 49ers for taking the initiative to donate care packages to troops in Northern California and I want to thank the USO for assembling and delivering those packages.”

More Details on the Care Packages

In times where military service members are assisting stateside and are working constantly to assist in their communities against COVID-19, recreation and hygiene items are important to maintaining a balance between work and regular life.

The care packages contain snacks, games recreation items and essential toiletry and hygiene items, which the USAA and 49ers hope will make life a bit easier during hectic times.

The care packages were delivered to five different bases, with some still en route to Bridgeport Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California.

The other bases that have been delivered to include:

  • Naval Air Station Lemoore – USS Theodore Roosevelt
  • California Army National Guard in Northern California
  • David Grant Medical Unit at Travis Air Force Base
  • Beale Air Force Base

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Ben Garland’s Recent Comments About Serving and Playing Football

As mentioned, Garland has a close connection to what the 49ers are doing, as he is a former Air Force member and current Colorado Air National Guard captain.

Garland has maintained his connection to serving throughout his NFL career after signing with the Denver Broncos in 2010 and being placed on the reserve/military list to complete his two-year military commitment.

Garland talked to Heavy about the relationship between football and service earlier this spring.

“Anytime you go through something difficult with somebody and you become part of a team and you really rely on each other, it makes that bond and relationship grow stronger. Nothing grows those bonds like being in boot camp with somebody or going to war with someone. I think that bond that military members have is far beyond anything else.

You have that bond in football, where you went through training camp, went through hard stuff, you tried to become a team together and put it on the line. You do have that bond, but those relationships are my favorite part of being a service member and playing football. Still nothing compares to the bond you have with your brothers and sisters in the service.”

Garland appreciates both, but distinctly knows and expresses the difference between serving and playing.

READ NEXT: 49ers’ Ben Garland Talks About Being One of the ‘Big Fat Kids on the Line’

Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering the San Francisco 49ers for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Follow and reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier.

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