Bucs host Military Appreciation Day at Training Camp
Rain or shine, training camp on Monday held a distinct privilege as the Buccaneers hosted over 1,000 active and retired military members for a private Military Appreciation Day presented by USAA. As guests entered the practice fields, they were gifted with a special Buccaneers Salute to Service pennant and were surprised with a pair of complimentary tickets for the final pre-season game on August 31, when the Buccaneers host the Washington Redskins.
The morning session kicked off with a patriotic performance by the Buccaneers Cheerleaders followed by a presentation of the nation's colors and the national anthem by Staff Sergeant John Malone. "This is a tremendous opportunity to spend some time with the Bucs and a chance of a lifetime because you don't get a chance to do this every day." Colonel Mike Remualdo of the United States Air Force said, who attended today's session with a group of colleagues. "The support we receive from the Bucs organization is truly fantastic. I've been to many bases and this program is like none other."
After practice, the team signed autographs for an extended period with service men and women in attendance. Buccaneers players, Alan Cross, Mike Evans, Joe Hawley, Clinton McDonald, Evan Smith and Keith Tandy remained on the fields after the session to welcome and encourage 50 active duty military members who competed in NFL Combine Drills as part of the "USAA NFL Boot Camp".
USAA Director of Military Affairs for Southeast Region, Dennis King watched on eagerly as competitors went through a series of drills; 40-yard dash, vertical jump and the gauntlet. "With Tampa Bay being a community with such a large population of active duty military, we find it important to partner with the Buccaneers." says King, "Together we honor and appreciate our military, retirees and their family."
Buccaneers' 2016 Salute to Service Award nominee, Clinton McDonald, has strong family ties with service men and women and was seen in between drill stations talking to many of the competitors between courses. "I have such a deep and rich history in the military through my family so when I talk to the men and women I understand what they go through, their mind and thought process, and we can just have a down to earth conversation about life." said McDonald. "It's great to have the men and women here on our practice fields competing."
Each year, the Buccaneers celebrate, recognize, and kick-off the season with a special Military Day at Training Camp. The Glazer Family Foundation and the Buccaneers have a long, proud history of supporting the men and women who served or continue to serve our country. During each home game, together with Central Florida USO, the Buccaneers celebrate a Hero of the Game, as well as invite servicemen and servicewomen to cheer on the team from the exclusive Tampa Bay Buccaneers Salute to Service Suite. For more information on the Buccaneers' military support, visit www.buccaneers.com/salute