Military members joined Redskins Salute and USAA bright and early for a special training camp event that allowed servicemen and women to work out on the Redskins practice fields.
On the sixth day of training camp, the Redskins weren't the first people on the practice fields getting a workout in. Rising and grinding early were local members of the United States military as they participated in the USAA Boot Camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center.
In partnership with Redskins Salute, the official military appreciation club of the Redskins, USAA brought out dozens of servicemen and women for an exclusive experience on the Redskins practice field.
Participants arrived at the facility before 7 a.m. and were breaking a sweat by 7:30 as they were put through a series of football-style drills, including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and more.
"This is a privilege and an honor to be able to give back to the service members," USAA military affairs representative Joel Vargas said. "It's a great opportunity to just say, 'Hey, this is something we want to give you to show our appreciation.'"
Along with the boot camp, participants were treated to breakfast in the VIP tent at Redskins training camp and then stayed to watch the team's walkthrough practice. Following the walkthrough, Redskins players joined the military members in the tent to sign autographs.
"It's awesome that the Redskins are doing this and that USAA is doing this with them," Christian Cheetham said. "I'm a USAA member too and they've been good to me any time I've called in with anything."
The most popular but hardest drill of the day was entitled The Gauntlet, which featured numerous football related obstacles that left everyone winded.
"Maybe the favorite – maybe not so much the favorite – was The Gauntlet," Vargas said with a smile. "I think they get the most out of that one because they have to actually use muscles they probably haven't used in awhile. It's kind of exciting to see them doing well out there."
Of course there were plenty of Redskins fans in attendance, which made the day extra special for those who have supported the team for years. USAA member Eddie Isom, who had outstanding Redskins socks on for the workout, has been a fan since he was born.
"It's my family team," Isom said. "I was born in D.C. We've been representing for generations now."