Rehovot, Israel – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft visited the Israeli Air Force (IAF)’s Tel Nof air base yesterday with a delegation of 18 American National Football League (NFL) Hall of Famers to show their support for the brave soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The visit was organized by Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF).
During their visit, Kraft and the Hall of Famers – known as “Gold Jackets” – including Joe Montana, Jim Brown, Roger Staubach and Joe Greene, and their spouses and guests, met and heard firsthand from Israel’s top pilots. The IAF’s Tel Nof air base houses several fighter jet and helicopter squadrons, as well as the IDF’s Paratroopers Brigade training center and the special airborne combat rescue operations Unit 669.
“We were honored to host Robert Kraft and these pro-football legends at the Israeli air base,” said FIDF New England Development Director Relly Banker. “By meeting with IDF soldiers and officers, Kraft and his guests showed them that they are not alone – and that their service and sacrifices are appreciated.”
The 18 NFL Hall of Famers included Lem Barney, Jerome Bettis, Jim Brown, Cris Carter, Dave Casper, Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk, Joe Greene, Willie Lanier, Joe Montana, Andre Reed, Mike Singletary, Bruce Smith, John Stallworth, Roger Staubach, Andre Tippett ,Aeneas Williams and Ron Yary.
The base visit, arranged by FIDF, was part of a weeklong “Touchdown in Israel II” mission to Israel, led by Kraft and Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker. During the mission, the pro-football legends experienced Israeli culture and history and participated in special American football events showcasing the growth of the sport in Israel.