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Before the Washington Redskins kicked off the 2014 season at the 53rd-annual Welcome Home Luncheon, they held a a special Salute To Service walkthrough practice with USAA at Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County, Md., exclusively for service members and their families.
Seeing the players up close and personal and standing just feet away from the team as they ran through various unit activities, Darryl Burke, Air Force District of Washington Commander and diehard Redskins fan for more than 40 years, said the anticipation for the practice built to an incredible high before Friday morning.
“It’s a phenomenal arrangement that we have set up here,” Burke said. “The Redskins have been an organization for many, many years that has supported the U.S. military.”
And while he had seen his favorite team before when he was stationed overseas, Burke said he was happy that others were able to share the opportunity to see the Redskins with their families.
“During my time period over in the desert, we had the Redskins Cheerleaders and players visit here at Andrews,” Burke said. “It’s all about service for self about us, and service for them, as they come out here and they give their support to our airmen.
“It’s really a wonderful day.”
Before the players started going through the physical portion of practice, they shook the hands of several airmen as they got off their buses.
As the service members looked on in close proximity, players that weren’t on the field took a moment to snap selfies and introduce themselves.
Following the conclusion of the walkthrough, the players headed to the sidelines to sign autographs and take more pictures.
Pro Bowl outside linebacker
“This is my first time out here and it’s phenomenal,” Orakpo said when asked about Andrews Air Force Base. “It has been a great experience for us to come back and give back to the community.
“It feels great.”