In honor of Veterans Day, the Redskins hosted 30 current and retired service men and women at practice this afternoon.
The veterans were selected through the Shepherd Veterans Organization, Salute Military Golf Association, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Yellow Ribbon Fund, and were invited for lunch at Redskins Park followed by the watching of Redskins practice.
Although they may have been the spectators during practice, they were the heroes coming off the field today, as players lined up to thank the veterans and sign autographs:
I got to catch up with Zach and Eric, both Marines, and both avid football fans. Eric has served five tours in his career, serving in both Iraq (twice) and Afghanistan, as well as various stations in South America and “other interesting places.” Zach lost both of his legs on his first tour in Marjah, Afghanistan last year. He said that two days ago was his 1-year anniversary for the attack that changed his life.
But before Zach could explain any more of his story, Eric cut in and said, “It was actually a tragic bulldozing accident,” he said with a sly smile. “He doesn’t like to talk about it.” That drew a good-natured chuckle from everyone around.
It was a perfect day for NFL football, except for a 15-25 mph winds that cut through the most dashing of pea coats. But nothing could dampen the spirits of the veterans, including these two gentlemen.
“It’s definitely interesting,” said Zach. “I’ve never seen an NFL practice before, so this is pretty cool. I hope we get to meet some of the players. I’d love to meet Orakpo, and Kerrigan is doing pretty good this year. I like a lot of the defensive players.”
Erik agreed saying, “Yeah, I think Kerrigan is playing a lot better than anyone anticipated so far, so that would be exciting to meet him. He’s a lot of fun to watch. And London Fletcher–he’s probably old enough to be some of these guys’ dad–he’s still flying around out here setting the tone. He somehow finds a way to make it to every single play.”
And after practice, he, Orakpo, Kerrigan, and the whole rest of the team found their way over to the sidelines to meet with the veterans.
After practice, in the locker room, camera crews from Joint Base Andrews got some Redskins in the locker room to huddle up and give a video thanks to the troops. It took two tries, but Doug Worthington, Maurice Hurt, Kedric Golston, and Trent Williams rallied around John Beck on take two:
Days like this put everything that the Redskins do–and everything that I do–in perspective. God bless our military personnel, men and women, foreign and domestic, past and present. Without them, nobody at the Redskins could do what they do, and that’s a 24/7/365 commitment.
On behalf of everyone, thank you.
Tags: military, salute military golf association, shephard veterans organization, veterans, veterans day, washington redskins, wounded warrior project, yellow ribbon fund
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