February 28, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) Former NFL officiating director Mike Pereira has begun a foundation that will provide scholarships to veterans of the armed forces who are interested in a post-military career in officiating.

The organization called ''Battlefield to Ballfields'' launched Tuesday.

Pereira, now a Fox Sports analyst, says his group will offer financial backing, training and eventual placement for servicemen and women to pursue careers in officiating.

''Many veterans find it difficult to successfully integrate into civilian life after they have completed their military service,'' Pereira says. ''We know there's no greater sacrifice one can make than to serve one's country. But what happens when they come home?''

Among those on Battlefield to Ballfields' board are former Titans and Rams coach Jeff Fisher; former Green Beret Nate Boyer; and Barry Mano, founder and president of the National Association of Sports Officials.

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