RICHMOND, Va. -- While the Redskins prepared for their third day of training camp, 200-plus active, reserve and retired military members attended practice Saturday for Redskins Salute Military Appreciation Day presented by GEICO Military.
"Hopefully they get excited to meet us, because we're excited to meet them," head coach Jay Gruden said Saturday morning. "It's a privilege."
Servicemembers in attendance received access to the second-floor of the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center for breakfast and lunch, which included a meet and greet with Voice of the Redskins Larry Michael and Redskins Ring of Famer Gary Clark. Military members were also given sideline passes for a behind-the-scenes look at Day 3 of training camp.
Following practice, players expressed their gratitude for the servicemembers by coming over to interact with them and sign autographs. Jonathan Allen in particular took this day to heart as he was raised in a military family. He said he uses the event as a "thank you" to all who currently serve or have served our country.
"They [military members] don't get enough credit for what they do," he said, "so I enjoy doing anything I can to help out."
Meanwhile, military members were appreciative of GEICO Military and the Redskins for making the event possible.
"This is a once in a lifetime experience. Seeing the guys live and up close, you can't beat this." said Army Staff Sergeant Adam McCowan. "It's like watching fantasy football, but live. You get the opportunity to see your favorite players. It's been an unreal experience."