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The Giants (6-2) are placing a high priority on this game, and it goes beyond football.

The team was given its marching orders Friday by Gen Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff.

A long-time Giants fans and New Jersey resident, Odierno toured areas in both states hit by the storm, visited with some of the 10,000 servicemen in the area, then watched practiced. He relayed his experience to the players.

“Today I saw firsthand the destruction in New York City, and along the shore lines of New Jersey,” Odierno said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “I witnessed the Army, city and state officials, and organizations from across the nation come together. Both New York City and New Jersey will look to their team, the NY Giants, for inspiration. I told the team today that playing the game to the best of their abilities will show fans their toughness, their strength and their resiliency at a time when they need it the most.”

Goodell will be at MetLife Stadium briefly Sunday afternoon to meet with first responders, then will fly to Atlanta for a previously scheduled fan forum.

The Giants have adjusted their football schedule since the storm struck Sunday, but many players have had to live without power at home.

Punter Steve Weatherford, wife Laura and their three children, including a newborn, stayed at the home of placekicker Lawrence Tynes and his family. Guard Kevin Boothe, his wife Rosalie and their two young children did not lose power in their home and hosted tight end Martellus Bennett and his wife, Siggi.

“I think everybody just kind of texted one another to make sure everyone was OK,” Boothe said. “We were able to help Martellus and his wife out last night. So that’s why we’re here, that’s why we’re teammates. It was great.

“`My son (2-year-old Dante) loves him,” Boothe said. “I think he thought Martellus was there solely to play with him, so they had a great time. They were painting and doing a whole bunch of other things.”

Giants middle linebacker Mark Herzlich understands some of the desperation felt by those affected by the storm. His life was thrown into turmoil roughly three years ago when he was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. He missed the 2009 college season.

“I think it in some ways it does because you have to start all over,” Herzlich said comparing the storm and his illness. “You’ve basically put your life on hold. You take everything, and it stops in its track. You say, `Now where am I going to go from here?’

“You lose your house, you lose everything that you’ve ever had, you have to put it in the tank and say, “That’s it. That’s my life,” or you can say, “where do I go from here. How do I fight back?,” Herzlich said. “How do I regain my possessions? How do I rebuild my life?” I think that’s the same thing that cancer patients and cancer survivors have to do. If they get a bad diagnosis, are they going to let it destroy them and defeat them or are they going to take one foot and put it in front of the other and fight back.”

Veteran defensive tackle Chris Canty, who has been involved in charitable work in New York City, believes the people in the area are resilient.

“Just understanding, when we take the field on Sunday, hey, we represent those folks,” Canty said. “That was the (general’s) message. It was a timely message and it was an important message.”

Canty said playing for those affected by the storm is an honor and a privilege.

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