Report: Vikings 1 of 14 NFL teams paid for military salutes

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If you have been to a Vikings game in recent years, you undoubtedly have seen those touching moments of patriotism – when members of the military are honored by the team and fans in a "Salute to Service."

But would those moments feel as special if you knew the Vikings and other NFL teams were being paid for them?

Well, according to a report, some of them are.

The report, from NJ.com, has found the Minnesota Vikings are one of 14 NFL teams being paid by the U.S. Department of Defense for those displays at games.

It notes the Vikings received a total of $605,000 over three seasons between 2011 and 2013.

The report also notes the Green Bay Packers were paid more than $600,000 over three seasons. Other teams involved were the Jets, Falcons, Ravens, Bills ,Bengals, Browns, Colts, Chiefs, Steelers, Cowboys, Dolphins and Rams.

The report indicates the teams have been paid a total of $5.4 million by the Defense Department.

The National Guard insists the project is a useful recruiting tool, but some in the U.S. Senate think it's wasteful spending.

"Those of us go to sporting events and see them honoring the heroes," Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) told NJ.com. "You get a good feeling in your heart. Then to find out they're doing it because they're compensated for it, it leaves you underwhelmed. It seems a little unseemly."

While Flake told Sports Illustrated that he has no issues with the guard recruiting potential soldiers at sporting events, he says they shouldn't be using taxpayer funds to do it.

"We need to recruit and what better place to find young men and women than at a ball game?" Flake said. "But when the team is honoring the heroes, that's the action I think rubs people the wrong way."

It's been a tough few days for Minnesota's professional sports teams on the patriotism front. As the Twins wrapped up last week's homestand, they faced questions about why so few players stand for the National Anthem.

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