Whether renovating a retired Air Force Sergeant's home, providing veterans with job placement assistance or serving a warm meal to those who serve others, Tampa Bay Buccaneers General Manager Dominik has made a significant commitment to the Bay area community and in particular its citizens who serve or have served in the military.
As such, during a month in which NFL teams are honoring U.S. armed forces through the "Salute to Service" initiative, the Buccaneers have also recognized Dominik for his commitment to the military by nominating him for the USAA Salute to Service Award.
Through the annual Salute to Service Award, the NFL and USAA team up to recognize excellence in appreciation of military service carried out by NFL coaches, players and staff. The award aligns with USAA's commitment to serving the military and their families while highlighting the NFL's long history of honoring the armed forces and veterans.
Inspired by personal experience – both his father and brother served in the Navy – Dominik has championed the cause of giving back to our nation's armed forces. He has done so locally by initiating community outreach programs that directly assist active and retired servicemen and women from all branches of the military.
This August, Dominik revealed the home renovations for retired U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Andy Bernt. The military home renovation project – the second of which Dominik has helped coordinate – 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, now benefits from a complete house renovation thanks to these efforts.
Dominik has also displayed a passion for helping local members of the military with personal and professional development. He was instrumental in organizing the Central Florida Military Resource Fair on November 4, presented by the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. The free event offered a job fair with federal, state and local employers, as well as interview skill development and resume assistance. Working through the team's growing relationships with local military groups, Dominik helped ensure that Bay area armed forces reaped the benefits of a unique and valuable afternoon.
For the past three years, Dominik has visited James A. Haley VA Hospital during the week of Veterans Day to greet servicemen young and old who are recovering from injury and illness. This week, he led a group of Buccaneers players in a visit to the US Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater to help serve lunch to more than 200 Coast Guard members in appreciation of their service.
New to Buccaneers home games this season is the "Salute to Service Suite," established by Dominik to honor local heroes. At every home game, more than a dozen local military members root on the team from a luxury suite and are given a standing ovation when honored over the stadium's public address system. During each home contest, "Dominik's Den" continues to offer 24 military members front row seats and a chance to watch warmups from the field, where the Bucs' G.M. greets each guest with a specially-made Buccaneers military challenge coin, a staple for Dominik whenever shaking the hand of those who've served. And he remains an auxiliary member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #4321, for which he has helped host an annual fundraiser.
Dominik, who was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Salute to Service Award in 2011, not only showcases the Buccaneers' and NFL's appreciation for our country's military but also continues to tirelessly rally the community's support around those who serve and sacrifice for others.