“Salute To Service” award special for Broncos’ Andrew Beck
NFL 

The challenge was put to Broncos fullback/tight end Andrew Beck after practice Thursday and the questions had nothing to do with football.

The son of a career Army officer, Beck lived in 11 different locales before attending college at Texas.

Can he name them in order?

“Yeah, I think I can do it,” he said in a phone interview with The Denver Post.

Fire away.

“I was born in Fort Knox, Ky., and then went Missouri, Maryland, I lived two places in Germany, then Illinois, West Virginia, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, Florida and back to Texas for college,” Beck said before adding with a laugh, “There we go!”

Beck’s father, Chris, graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1993 with a degree in civil engineering. In June, he assumed the role of Commander of the Southwest Division of the Corps of Engineers. Chris Beck has been deployed multiple times to the Middle East.

Andrew’s upbringing made the announcement earlier this month that he was the Broncos’ nominee for the Salute To Service award particularly special.

“It was a huge honor for me,” he said. “It was absolutely a huge surprise.”

During a virtual team meeting last week, coach Vic Fangio recognized Beck for his charitable work.

Since joining the Broncos in September 2019, Beck has worked with countless local military organizations, including America’s Gold Star Families (which will be the subject of his “My Cause, My Cleats program later this season), Buckley Air Force Base, Fort Carson Army Base, USO Denver, Volunteers of America, TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) and the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

Last week, Beck was one of the Broncos who participated in a Zoom conference with members of the Wounded Warriors program. During those meetings, Beck wanted to hear their stories.

“That’s the biggest thing,” he said. “I like to take those opportunities to learn about those guys. I just ask them to tell their stories, what they’ve been through, what their hobbies are and taking that approach is always better.”

Prior to joining the Broncos, Beck’s Colorado experience was in grades 8-9 when his father worked at Fort Carson. The Becks — Chris, his wife, Sally, and sons Andrew and Alex — then moved to the Tampa, Fla., area.

“I only went to two high schools and that’s a huge credit to my parents,” Andrew said. “Before my senior year, my family got orders to move again and my parents didn’t want to move me going into my senior year so my mom and I stayed in Tampa and my dad relocated by himself.”

While in high school, Andrew said he and his father discussed a military career.

“My dad said, ‘You’re going to college to get your degree and then we’ll talk,’” Andrew said. “And then the opportunity to play at the (NFL) level came calling, but it was definitely something I talked to my parents (about) and it was my dad the military member who was the one who talked me out of it.”

Beck carved out a productive niche with the Broncos last year, moving from college tight end to NFL fullback because of Andy Janovich’s injuries. This year, the Broncos deemphasized using a fullback, but Beck was the lead blocker when a fullback was required.

Fangio said Friday it was unlikely Beck is activated from injured reserve Sunday against Miami after missing the previous four games (hamstring). He played 38 offensive snaps and 88 special teams snaps in the first five games.

“Feeling good — I finally got to go and run around practice a little bit and it’s a huge credit to the training staff getting me ready,” he said. “When you get into the groove of the season and (injure) the hamstring, it’s frustrating. I was close to come back at the beginning of it, but then re-tweaked it and that’s when they put me on IR.”

Beck said his parents, who live in the Dallas area, are scheduled to travel to the Denver area for the Dolphins game and Thanksgiving.

This offseason, Beck hopes to take his own trip as a part of the NFL’s annual USO Tour. He was invited this past offseason, but the coronavirus pandemic led to the postponement of the event. Being recognized for his work has only fueled him to do more.

“Coming up in a military family and being surrounded by a military environment throughout my upbringing, and then being nominated for the award was something that is truly special,” he said. “It’s something I don’t take for granted.”

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