The Washington Redskins had some very special guests at Monday’s practice.
A group of military service members from the Air Force District of Washington at Joint Base Andrews were on hand to watch the Redskins on the first day back from their Bye Week as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The visit was coordinated as part of USAA‘s “Salute to Service,” a league-wide initiative in which teams deepen their connection to the military community. Redskins Fans can show their support by visiting “Million Fan Salute.”
Among those excited to watch the Redskins practice Monday was Senior Master Sgt. Demetrica Jefferis, who has been actively serving her country for 23 years with the Air Force.
Jefferis said she became a Redskins fan when her husband, Anthony, recently converted her to the burgundy and gold.
“He’s from the area — born and raised in Maryland — so over the years of just sitting with him and watching the NFL games, I’ve come to learn a lot about the history of the Redskins, as well as the passion and sharing that passion with the fans,” Jefferis said.
Jefferis was still beaming from one of the highlights of her visit to Redskins Park: a personal greeting by quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“Just to have RG3 come up and shake our hands and say, ‘Nice to meet you — thank you for your service,’ it shows he’s just one of the guys,” she said.
Jefferis said she was sending several photos of her visit to Redskins Park to Anthony throughout the afternoon.
“I wouldn’t say he’s jealous — OK, well he might be,” she said with a laugh. “He was glad that at least one of us could come out here and represent. … He’s happy and proud.”
It’s not hard to be proud of a member of the military like Jefferis, who will begin a one-year deployment at Osan Air Force Base in Korea in just two weeks. She said sports — particularly football — are definitely an important part for many members of the military.
“The two things that most military members share in common are the mission and their love of sports,” Jefferis said. “So wherever we go, we bring the love of football with us.”
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