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Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Dominik recognized for military outreach

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Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 09:17 AM

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TAMPA -

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik has been named a finalist for the USAA Salute to Service Award.

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman was also named a finalist for the award, which is given to the NFL player, coach or executive who displays the most exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military in their community.

 "I'm proud to say that our military is important not only to me, but to our entire organization," Dominik said. "This organization was named a finalist just as much as I was, because we all work together to make sure the Bay area understands that we really do appreciate everything our military does for us."

  Since he was named general manager in 2009, Dominik has made significant contributions to Tampa's military community, including initiating a community outreach program that assists active and retired servicemen and servicewoman.

 He was also instrumental in organizing the Central Florida Military Resource Fair on Nov. 4 at Raymond James Stadium that included a job fair with federal, state and local employers, as well as interview, skill development and resume assistance.

 The fair, which offered on-site Veterans Affairs benefits and health care enrollments, flu shots and medical screenings, assisted thousands of local service members.

It was the first time the three VA hospitals in the Tampa Bay area were brought together for one resource event.

 In August, Dominik revealed the home renovations for retired U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Andy Bernt. Sponsored by the military home renovation project, it was the second such renovation Dominik has helped coordinate.

 The home renovation project was carried out through a $40,000 team donation and the support of Buccaneers staff, Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay and C1 Bank.

Bernt, a retired emergency rescue responder who has battled Stage 4 lymphoma and is paralyzed, benefits from the complete house renovation thanks to these efforts.

 Dominik has been a regular Veterans Day visitor to the James A. Haley VA Hospital, invited wounded service members to view team practices with VIP access, and offered 24 military members front-row seats and the chance to watch pregame warm-ups on the field during each Bucs home game.

  The Salute to Service Award will be presented at the "2nd Annual NFL Honors," a two-hour prime-time show at 9 p.m. Feb. 2 on CBS.

A $25,000 contribution will be made by USAA in the winner's honor to the aid societies representing all five military branches.

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