Under cool August skies yesterday, the Washington Redskins hosted practice in front of another packed crowd at the Bon Secours Training Center. Unlike most days during training camp where the majority of fans are decked out in burgundy and gold, the team practiced in front of some of America’s finest: our military men and women in uniform.
USAA, an official military sponsor of the Washington Redskins, hosted soldiers from Fort Lee, Naval Station Norfolk and Langley Air Force Base at practice.
Before practice started at 12:40, Director of Pro Personnel Morocco Brown and 80 Greatest Redskin Ken Harvey spoke and thanked them for their service to our country.
Harvey, a linebacker here from 1994-1999, differentiated the normal “trench battles” and “football is a war” talk from what the soldiers face on a daily basis. He mentioned that his job was to simply play a game, while there job is to protect our country from harm.
Redskins fullback Darrel Young, whose brother David is in the US Army, said he was honored to practice in front of them.
“It means a lot,” he said. “Just going back to what my brother does every day. For them to come out here and be excited for what we do here every day is awesome. I hope they understand the appreciation we have for them. My hat goes off to them.”
This isn’t the first time that USAA has teamed up with the Redskins for a practice visit. In November, military men and women from Andrews Air Force Base took in a practice and had the opportunity to meet the players after practice.
Yesterday was no different.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III, linebacker London Fletcher, fullback Eric Kettani and Young joined other teammates as they met signed autographs and took pictures with the military men and women.
Kettani, who was promoted to Navy Lieutenant from his previous rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade during a ceremony at Redskins Park in June, shared his military background with surprised service men and women. After all, it isn’t every day that someone in the NFL is also in the reserves.
“It’s a great opportunity to go talk to them and relate to them and their past experiences, Kettani said after being the last player to walk off of the field. “I was talking to some Navy men out there [and] one of their commanding officers told them I was in the Navy and they couldn’t believe it.”
Here’s a complete gallery of the troops at practice as well.
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