Story by Sgt. Nicholas T. Holmes
JOINT BASE MYER – HENDERSON HALL, Va. – Soldiers from the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) participated in the Washington Redskins Salute to Service Day, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park on May 24, 2017 in Ashburn, Virginia.
Redskins Salute is the official military appreciation club of the football team.
Salute to Service Day recognized approximately 150 active duty service members and veterans at the exclusive event presented by United Services Automobile Association, USAA.
“Events like this are extremely important,” said Ronney Wright, a military affairs representative from USAA. “We are here today to honor show our appreciation to these military men and women.”
The event started with a Chalk Talk session lead by Redskins alumni Richard “Doc” Walker, former tight end.
Walker, now a radio sports commentator, answered questions and discussed the importance of staying driven.
“He was a very motivating speaker,” said Pfc. Monaisia Young, a unit supply specialist with TOG. “He encouraged us to get up in the morning ready to take on the day and not to hit the snooze button on life.”
“I really like what he said about staying motivated on the inside,” said Spc. Christiana Howard, a human resources specialist with TOG. “Meaning, that if you aren’t motivated on the inside it is likely to show on the outside and effect our team. He stressed the importance of teamwork.”
Next, service members were given a special tour of the Redskin’s training facility.
During the tour, guests were given exclusive access to the training facility and observed the team during a private practice session.
“It was great to get to witness the hard work the players put into their training,” said Spc. Amia Lawrence, a human resource specialist with TOG. “This is something that most people don’t get the privilege to experience and I am grateful.”
“The players love events like this,” said Wright. “They see the men and women in uniform as the professionals they are and the just want to show their appreciation in any way that they can.”
Following the practice, service members had the opportunity to get memorabilia autographed and take photographs with the players.
“I really enjoyed getting the chance to meet the players,” said Lawrence. “My family and I are all really big fans of the Redskins, so I’m really here representing for all of them.”
The event was effective according to Wright.
“I think that today was a successful experience for everyone involved,” said Wright. “We at USAA I just want to extend our sincere appreciation to all service members and veterans.”
Eligibility for Redskins Salute includes all active duty service members, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and military veterans, from all branches in the U.S. military. Individuals interested can join free of charge by visiting www.redskinssalute.com.