Pro Football came of age in the 1960s. There was significant growth with the expansion of the NFL and the birth of then-rival American Football League. It was also during that decade that pro football, due in large part to new and increased television exposure, began an unprecedented rise in popularity.
During that same period, however, the United States was immersed in yet another military conflict, the Vietnam War. Again, NFL players past and present answered the call, some as active duty participants, others as military reservists, and still others as "goodwill ambassadors," through league sponsored programs.
Right: The Purple Heart awarded posthumously to former NFL player Don Steinbrunner. The family donated it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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