Three of the fans witnessing the action at Redskins Park today, were military servicemen that had been injured in the line of duty in the Middle East. After practice today, players and coaches took time to thank these men for the service to their country.
“They’re the real heroes of what happens today,” head coach Mike Shanahan said of the soldiers Freedom Alliance. ”The man I just talked to lost his leg in Afghanistan. You get a chance to talk to him and tell him how much you appreciate everything that he’s done and what he means to us. They’re the real heroes.”
Quarterback Rex Grossman also took time to meet with the men after practice, and said that it gave him a renewed perspective of what’s important.
“It was an honor to meet some of those guys that sacrifice so much for our country,” he said. ”It’s humbling; we’re out here playing a game and they’re in real life over there at war. It’s definitely brings you don’t to earth and all of this really isn’t that important, when you put it in context of what they do.”
Safety Reed Doughty went right from the practice field over to the soldiers, and stayed for several minutes, shaking hands and signing autographs.
“It’s awesome, I mean, I know what they do for our country,” he said. ”I’m just humbled by them, and I just look them in the eye and tell them, ’We really appreciate what you do.’ When somebody’s putting their life on the line for their country or family, that’s a big deal. We don’t take it lightly–I know I don’t.”
Doughty said that one of the biggest mistakes in football punditry is comparing the physicality of football to battle. ”Y’know, sometimes football is correlated to war,” he said. ”I don’t take that, and I don’t make that analogy, ever.”
Servicemen and women strike a personal cord with Doughty who has had friends and family members serve. He knows how much the military members sacrifice just to do their jobs.
“We provide entertainment, and they give up a lot more sacrifices to let us do what we do,” he said. ”We go away for a weekend for a game, they go away six months or a year for a duty. So the sacrifices that they make, and their families make, is huge.”
“I appreciate them, and every time I get a chance, I go sign for them.”
Watch Doughty interact with the soldiers in attendance:
Tags: mike shanahan, redskins park, Reed Doughty, rex grossman, veterans, washington redskins, wounded warriors
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