NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Since moving the franchise to Tennessee in 1997, Titans owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. was a familiar face to the soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Campbell, home to the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, the 160th S.O.A.R.(A), also known as the Night Stalkers and the 5th Special Forces Group, also known as the Green Berets.
Located less than an hour away from the Titans’ home field, Adams established relationships with the base’s primary commands and frequently hosted Fort Campbell soldiers at Titans’ home games. More than 12,000 soldiers were guests of Adams at LP Field since it opened in 1999 and Adams often hosted soldiers in his personal suite. The Titans frequently conduct all-day visits to Fort Campbell where Titans players, cheerleaders and staff can participate in autograph sessions at the PX, greet patients at the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital as well as visit the schools on base.
In early 2012 the NFL named Adams the first recipient of the Salute to Service Award presented by USAA, the NFL’s Official Military Appreciation Sponsor. The award acknowledges exceptional efforts by members of the NFL community to honor and support U.S. service members and veterans. The award was presented on the eve of Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis and it was only fitting that Adams hosted 33 active duty soldiers from Fort Campbell in his personal suite during at the Super Bowl the following day!
In 2011, Adams made a special visit to Fort Campbell to honor the 5th Special Forces Group during their 50th anniversary weekend. Adams was given a tour of the command center, where he presented a game ball to 5th Special Forces Group Commander Scott E. Brower and received a special gift from Brower on behalf of his unit.
“The entire NFL community stands together as a proud supporter of our nation’s soldiers and veterans,” Adams said of that visit. “It’s my desire to see the work we’ve done encourage others to take action to support the men and women who make sacrifices daily so that we can live our lives freely.”
A veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserve serving during World War II, Adams’ connection with the military community is a personal one, and in his 54 years as franchise owner, he has been a longstanding advocate of all servicemen and women.
REACTION FROM U.S. MILITARY ON ADAMS' PASSING
To the Family and loved ones, Friends and Fans of Mr. Bud Adams and the Tennessee Titans,
Please allow me to convey to you all my sincere condolences for the loss of this extraordinary man, leader and patriot.
While Mr. Adams' magnificent contributions to professional football are well and widely known, I would like to take this opportunity to express my own appreciation for his outstanding patriotism and support to the American men and women in uniform. Bud's support and, by extension, that of the Titan's organization to the Soldiers and Families of Fort Campbell, Kentucky was both superb and enduring. This support was especially important in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11th, 2001 and beyond, particularly over the last twelve years when the stress of our Nation's longest war imposed unique stresses on the men, women and Families of the combat formations of Fort Campbell. All of these units were - and remain - deeply engaged in the fight. Bud's embrace of the Green Berets of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), the Nightstalkers of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and, of course, the Screaming Eagles of the mighty 101st Airborne Division (Airborne) and the Families of them all was personal, deep and massively appreciated by us all.
Bud's patriotism went well beyond words; it manifested itself in actions that cascaded throughout his organization. I have personally seen the outreach by the Titans toward the Soldiers and Families of Fort Campbell, and the various forms that outreach took. There is no more important message that can be transmitted to our warriors and their Families than that their fellow citizens care for them, and Bud cared deeply. He and the Titans transmitted that signal loud and clear, without any desire for recognition, and has done so for over twelve years. That outreach, ultimately, was the direct result of this wonderful Patriot's personal instincts and leadership. May God bless and keep Bud and his Family, may He bless and protect the organization he built and all within it. We will miss Bud greatly. May God continue to bless and protect our men and women in harm's way, and May God continue to bless our great Country.
Strength and Honor,
— John F. Mulholland
Lieutenant General, U.S. Army
Today the Soldiers and families of Fort Campbell lost a close friend and supporter. Bud Adams and the rest of the Titans leadership have long been quiet but tireless advocates of those serving in uniform.
Always quick with a smile and kind word, it was clear Bud sincerely appreciated the service and sacrifice of our Soldiers and their families. All Soldiers are volunteers and we serve by choice, but having the support of citizens like Mr. Adams is what makes it all worthwhile.
We are going to miss you Bud, but rest assured the impact of your kindness and generosity will be felt by all you've touched for years to come."
— BG Clay Hutmacher
Commanding General, US Army Special Operations Aviation Command (Airborne)
The Soldiers and Families of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment were greatly saddened to hear of the passing of a great American Patriot and Entrepreneur, Mr. Bud Adams.
Long recognized and respected for his selfless service in the Navy during World War II, he consistently and frequently sought out opportunities to honor military units and service members at Titan events. Despite his effusive and unwavering public praise and support of this generation's veterans, he will best be remembered by the Night Stalkers for his anonymous and consistent support of our Soldiers and Families. Seeking neither praise nor recognition of his efforts, he gave selflessly of himself, his time and his resources to help our service members. His generosity and dedication to the Night Stalkers serves as a lasting legacy to his name and represents the values he worked so diligently to instill in the Titans/Oilers organization and the National Football League. He will be truly missed.
— Col. John Evans
Commander, 160th S.O.A.R.(A)
On behalf of the officers, men, and women of the 5th Special Forces Group, please accept our humble condolences on the passing of Mr. Adams.
He will be sorely missed, as we have lost a treasured partner and friend. Mr. Adams was a great many things to a wide variety of people, but we here at the Legion we will forever remember his generosity and kindness in caring for our Soldiers and their Families. The NFL has lost a stalwart of the sport of football, whose innovation and business savvy can never be replaced. The Nation has laid to rest another of its World War II veterans, and a member of the Greatest Generation whom we Legionnaires will always admire and respect. Mr. Adams lived the American Dream and embodied the strength and initiative that it represents.
Strength and Honor.
— COL John Brennan
CDR, 5th SFG (A)