September 27, 2023

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Ryan Jensen Salute to Service #4

2 min read

Ryan Jensen (66) Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers veteran center Ryan Jensen has been nominated for a fourth consecutive Salute to Service Award for his outstanding contributions to numerous military support organizations. He is known for his fiery scarlet locks and the passion and intensity that he brings to the game of Football —the same is what he brings in his contributions to various military support organizations.

Jensen has many family ties to the military. His grandfather, Keith Palmer Sr., served in the Army’s 101st Airborne in Vietnam and Korea and earned a Bronze Star for Valor when he stormed an enemy position, destroying a machine gun nest with light artillery. The heroic action of Keith Palmer saved the lives of numerous people. Jensens’ uncle, also named Keith Palmer, served in the US Marines, and his brother Alec Hatfield served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Alec’s military service brought with it a close encounter that required him to take another person’s life, which dramatically changed his life and brought about a personal awareness of PTSD (Posttraumatic stress disorder). His brother-in-law, Levi Dufford, also served. He was a USMC and is currently leading a Wildland firefighting brigade out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Furthering Jensen’s involvement with military initiatives was the meeting of three-year-old Cooper during a tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) while playing for the Baltimore Ravens. Cooper never met his father, who was killed in action but took an immediate shine to Jensen one day at training camp because of their matching hair color. Cooper, who is now nine years old, stays in contact with the Buccaneers center. 

Ryan Jensen is currently recovering from a nasty knee injury earlier this year, and it has been kept secret what the injury actually is. Recently a report surfaced that he would be back sooner than expected; however, he is recovering from multiple ligament tears and is not likely to return during the regular season, if even at all for the 2022 season. Despite Ryan Jensen’s absence making a difference on the field, he is making a major difference off of the field. Feel better Big Red, and get better as quickly as possible.

Updated 11/4/2022: “The Buccaneers will showcase military appreciation tributes at Raymond James Stadium on November 6 when the team hosts the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday for the Buccaneers’ Salute to Service Game, presented by USAA.”per Brianna Dix of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

*The above information is exclusive.