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Airman, Jaguars take American football to UK's capital

The National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars prepare to take the field Oct. 27, 2013, during the internationally televised game against the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London, England. At the front of the formation, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, held the American flag and lead the charge onto the field. The NFL continues its Salute to Service campaign by giving Taylor and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christine Griffiths/Released)

The National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars prepare to take the field Oct. 27, 2013, during the internationally televised game against the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London, England. At the front of the formation, U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, held the American flag and lead the charge onto the field. The NFL continues its Salute to Service campaign by giving Taylor and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christine Griffiths/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, center, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, leads prior the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars onto the field Oct. 27, 2013, at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Taylor's leadership presented him with this surprise opportunity to represent the U.S. Air Force and his hometown NFL team.  The NFL gave Taylor and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field The 501st Combat Support Wing's honor guard team presented the colors while the National Anthem played prior to the start of the game. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, center, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, leads prior the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars onto the field Oct. 27, 2013, at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Taylor's leadership presented him with this surprise opportunity to represent the U.S. Air Force and his hometown NFL team. The NFL gave Taylor and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field The 501st Combat Support Wing's honor guard team presented the colors while the National Anthem played prior to the start of the game. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best/Released)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, poses for a photograph Oct. 27, 2013, prior to leading the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars onto the field at Wembey Stadium in London, England. Taylor's leadership presented him with this surprise opportunity to represent the U.S. Air Force and his hometown NFL team.  The NFL gave Taylor and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field.  (Courtesy Photo from Angel Trejo)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, poses for a photograph Oct. 27, 2013, prior to leading the National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars onto the field at Wembey Stadium in London, England. Taylor's leadership presented him with this surprise opportunity to represent the U.S. Air Force and his hometown NFL team. The NFL gave Taylor and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field. (Courtesy Photo from Angel Trejo)

The National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars played the San Francisco 49ers in an internationally televised game Oct. 27, 2013, at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The NFL gave U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field. The Jacksonville Jaguars lost the game against the San Francisco 49ers 42-10. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christine Griffiths/Released)

The National Football League’s Jacksonville Jaguars played the San Francisco 49ers in an internationally televised game Oct. 27, 2013, at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The NFL gave U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field. The Jacksonville Jaguars lost the game against the San Francisco 49ers 42-10. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christine Griffiths/Released)

A Royal Air Force senior aircraftman rings the bell during the third quarter of the Jacksonville Jaguars versus San Francisco 49ers National Football League game Oct. 27, 2013, at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The bell was rung four times in honor of men and women, both past and present, serving their countries. The NFL gave U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christine Griffiths/Released)

A Royal Air Force senior aircraftman rings the bell during the third quarter of the Jacksonville Jaguars versus San Francisco 49ers National Football League game Oct. 27, 2013, at Wembley Stadium in London, England. The bell was rung four times in honor of men and women, both past and present, serving their countries. The NFL gave U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, and U.S. Air Force Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman from RAF Lakenheath, the opportunity to lead rival football teams onto the field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christine Griffiths/Released)

LONDON -- The National Football League continues its Salute to Service campaign by giving two service members the opportunity to lead rival football teams out of the tunnel and onto the field -- even outside of the United States.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class James Taylor, 100th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, led the Jacksonville Jaguars onto the field Oct. 27, 2013, at Wembley Stadium in London, England, in an international NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers.

When Taylor's leadership found out he was selected for this opportunity, they instructed him to stay after work for a talk, but did not tell him why.

"I was surprised - I thought it was a joke," Taylor said. "I didn't even know about this or that I was considered. It feels pretty good that (my chain of command) did that for me."

Later, his leadership brought him in front of his squadron to announce the news.

Never in Taylor's wildest dreams did he think he'd have the chance to represent his hometown team.

"I never, ever thought I would ever have an opportunity like this," Taylor said. "My whole family back at home is going to be watching, so that's pretty cool."

Growing up in Jacksonville, Taylor was able to attend most of the team's season home games.

"I've been a Jaguars fan my whole life," Taylor said. "I'm really excited to run out on the field with them - I just hope I don't trip and fall."

Little by little, the realization that he would be representing the Air Force in front of thousands of people began to sink in. The gravity of the honor - to lead an NFL team onto the field in the capital of the United Kingdom - has left a strong impression on him.

"It's a great experience. People go their whole lives without an experience like this - I'm honored to do this," he said. "It's crazy. I'm in London, going to a football game and on top of that, I am representing the Air Force."

(Editor's notes: The Salute to Service campaign is designed to unify and elevate the extensive military appreciation work of the NFL and its clubs, according to the official NFL website. Airman Sara V. Summers, 48th Security Forces Squadron patrolman, lead the San Francisco 49ers on to the field. The 501st Combat Support Wing's honor guard team presented the colors while the National Anthem played prior to the start of the game. The Jacksonville Jaguars lost the game against the San Francisco 49ers 42-10.)