On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneer rookie class continued their efforts to give back to the Tampa Bay community by visiting MacDill Air Force Base, sponsored by USAA. Bucs' defensive lineman Logan Hall, guard Luke Goedeke, running back Rachaad White, cornerback Zyon McCollum and the entire 2022 rookie class had their first opportunity to visit the local base since joining the team in April.
The visit was highlighted by a military working dog training session, a tour of 'Spirit of Tampa Bay,' a KC-135 Stratotanker, and an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) demonstration. Players were also able to witness the re-enlistment ceremony and thank active-duty servicemen and women stationed in Tampa.
"It means everything. It means that I can wake up every day in America and know that I am safe, especially knowing that they are risking their lives every day for all of us," said cornerback Zyon McCollum, who recently had his best friend from high school enlist in the Air Force. The aircraft tour became his favorite part of the day, getting to walk in a loved one's "shoes for a day."
"I just have an [outpouring] of love for everybody who puts their life on the line like that."
The Buccaneers proudly support U.S. armed forces, and the team's military outreach efforts extend well beyond the football field. Along with the annual Salute to Service game, the Buccaneers participate in a wide variety of community initiatives to benefit those who serve our country. Game day ticket programs, Veterans' hospital visits, and events with wounded warriors are just some of the many ways the team strives to give back to the U.S. military.
Bucs' second-round selection Logan Hall grew up in a military family. The base tour brought a smile to his face and a sense of childhood nostalgia.
"Today was awesome for me to get out into the community and interact with Bucs fans," Hall described. "Not only that, but men in uniform mean a lot to me because like you said, I am from a military background, and I have a lot of respect for men in uniform. My dad, Phillip Hall, served for 22 years and my stepdad, Joseph Organ [served] for 19 years, both in the Army."
This year, the rookie class will collectively volunteer their time through a variety of programs and efforts to help introduce and connect the team's youngest players with the Tampa Bay community and the charitable causes in the area. To learn more about the Buccaneers' efforts to give back, visit www.buccaneers.com.
"As you know, military members are from all over the country not just from here in Tampa Bay, but Tampa Bay is such a wonderful organization that even if they are a fan from somewhere else, they quickly become a fan of the Bucs," said Terry Montrose.
The 2022 rookies spent the day exploring the MacDill Air Force Base. The visit was presented by USAA.