U.S. Army National Guard Master Sgt. Jeffrey Vogel had one mission.
Find linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.
At Ruth’s Chris in Arlington, Va., Monday night, Vogel tracked down Kerrigan, shook his hand and forked over a football to be signed. He returned to his Loudoun County home with a surprise for his wife from her favorite player.
In honor of Veterans Day, the Redskins sponsored admission at a Monday Night Football Meet and Greet for Vogel and 12 other military service members representing the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Army National Guard, the U.S. Navy and the USO.
At the end of the night, the players gave the military members a standing ovation.
“It means a lot,” Vogel said. “There are a lot of guys who served prior to me who never got that recognition.”
Kerrigan, guard Adam Gettis, cornerback E.J. Biggers, cornerback Jerome Murphy and defensive end Doug Worthington mingled with fans and military service members at the event, engaged in conversation with the crowd and called out winners for a raffle with prizes including a signed Kerrigan picture and an autographed Robert Griffin III jersey.
Kerrigan said honoring military veterans shouldn’t stop after Monday.
“We do it on Veterans Day, but it needs to be a more common thing because of the sacrifices that they make for our country,” he said.
Sean Ryan, an electronic technician in the Navy Reserve, said he enjoyed meeting the men behind the facemasks.
“You get up close and you see that they’re real people,” Ryan said. “They’re not just helmets and pads.”
Donna Dosik has served in the military for 34 years and recently returned from her station in Germany. The master sergeant in the Army National Guard said she felt lucky to be at Ruth’s Chris on Monday.
“It’s just such a fabulous feeling to know that they’re pro military, that they’re here for the veterans, that they acknowledge our presence,” Dosik said.
“For them to take this time out of their day and their schedule… it’s fabulous.”
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