The Redskins hosted their 4th annual “Timeout for Military Veterans Health” on Saturday, Oct. 29 at FedExField.
About 1,500 veterans of the armed forces and their families attended the free medical screening. The veterans and their families were also able to learn more about how to proactively monitor their health.
The Redskins and GlaxoSmithKline partnered with Men’s Health Network, Medical Faculty Associates at The George Washington University, the Prostate Conditions Educational Council, the American Heart Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Academy of Physician Assistants and CareFirst to host the event.
The focus was to give back to the veterans, who have given so much to protect the United States.
“Our men and women in uniform deserve health programs like this, especially given the high number of veterans who have chronic conditions, said Cheryl MacDiarmid, GlaskoSmithKline’s vice president of Cardiovasicular/Metoblic/Urology. “Approximately 72 percent of veterans have one or more chronic conditions.”
Attendees were able to receive screenings that ran from checking their cholesterol levels, and blood pressure, to having their eyes checked for glaucoma. Other tests included HIV testing, lung function, and osteoporosis testing.
The screenings took place in the Redskins locker room, which made the event an experience of a lifetime for some veterans.
One of these veterans was Gerald Chase, an Army field artillery veteran.
Said Chase: “This is a good thing. A lot of people are recognizing veterans for serving the country and protecting the home front. It’s giving back.”
Chase didn’t hesitate to state where his NFL allegiances were, either.
“I was born and raised in D.C., I’ve been a Redskins fan for 40 years,” he said.
Ben Lewis, a health care technician, helped to check attendees’ blood pressure levels.
"This is very important because we are treating the veterans and because we are still in the midst of a war,” Lewis said. "Anything that we can do to help our veterans and our country is a very good thing. I think they should do health screenings all over the country. I think it’s very encouraging for everybody and I’m proud to be here.”
In addition to getting to see the Redskins’ locker room, attendees were able to meet former Redskins players Ken Harvey, Ron Saul, and Ricky Ervins, as well as Redskins Cheerleaders and the Hogettes.
Harvey, a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker, played for the Redskins from 1994-98.
“I’m honored to be a part of this and give back to those military service members who have done so much for our country,” Harvey said. “My wife served in the Navy for four years, so this event really hits home. It's nice to know the Redskins, GlaxoSmithKline and all the other Redskins health and wellness partners are doing their part to help military members, veterans and their families live healthier lifestyles.”
Harvey noted that the health screenings not only help the veterans, but also help future generations monitor their health.
“The real cool thing that I have seen is fathers bringing their kids here and so now you are starting a generation of saying it is okay to get a physical, it is okay to get health exams,” Harvey said.
Saul, who played guard for the Redskins from 1976-1981, was happy to show his appreciation for the veterans.
“A lot of the vets would come up to me and say, ‘Oh, wow, you played in the NFL!' Saul said. "And I would say, ‘Wait a second, guys, you guys are the real heroes. You protected us and kept us safe in the United States.’”