On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Redskins Salute and USAA teamed up to recognize and honor 150 active service members, veterans and their families at the exclusive Redskins Salute OTA Day, presented by USAA, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.
The event featured sideline access for the military members during the team practice, meet and greets with Redskins players and personnel, player autographs, giveaways and complimentary food and beverage courtesy of Famous Dave's.
"It is a complete honor and privilege for USAA to come out as the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor for the Washington Redskins, and just have an opportunity to give these young service members [and] veterans across the board an opportunity to have a unique experience and enjoy their day," said Ronney Wright, USAA Military Affairs Representative for Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C.
The Redskins and USAA began their military appreciation partnership back in 2011, at training camp in Richmond, Va., and ever since then, Wright says, the events have gotten bigger and bigger, and more and more military servicemen and women have been recognized.
"It's a beautiful thing," Wright said. "It's a give-and-take type thing, and there's no taking on it from the Redskins, it's just everybody wanting to give back, and give something to the service members, veterans and families, just to say, 'Thank you.'"
There's many responsibilities the Redskins organization has, with one of them being their charitable work and brightening up the days of our military servicemen and women, which is something they jump at the chance to do.
"It's a good reminder why it's such a benefit to play here in Washington," quarterback Trent Williams said. "It just feels like it's that much more real with Andrews Air Force Base here, and so many soldiers here. [I'm] just so grateful for living in this country and understanding that that came at a price, and I just want to say, 'Thank you.'"
"If it means signing a few autographs after practice, what a cool way to do that, and just more motivation," Cousins added. "You say, 'Man, I want to give these soldiers, [and] these fans, something to cheer about, and make them excited and bring this city together. Hopefully winning football games can do that. What a great thing. That's the vision we're chasing."
Redskins Salute and USAA hosted current and former military members at the Inova Sports and Performance Center at Redskins Park to watch practice and meet the players.