In partnership with a military veterans group located in Annapolis, the Washington Redskins welcomed World War II veteran Jack Goldstein and Korean War veteran Frank Richter to Redskins Park on Friday, highlighted by a behind-the-scenes tour of the Redskins' facility.
The day began with an all-access tour around the park, including visits to the equipment room and media room.
His first time at a professional sports complex, Goldstein was blown away by the beauty of Redskins Park.
"It just fascinates me," he said. "I’ve never been in anything like this so it’s really beautiful out here. I’ve never seen anything like it. I never knew the facility was out here, or that it was this big.”
After mingling in the media room with local reporters, the veterans then had the chance to meet Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan who thanked them for their incredible tenure of service.
Richter and Goldstein paused at the Hall of Fame wall near the Redskins locker room while touring the lower level to gaze upon the heralded tradition stitched within the burgundy and gold.
When asked who his favorite Redskins team was, Richter didn't hesitate, exclaiming it was "that bunch from 1987," hinting to the Redskins roster that went on to win Super Bowl XXII, the franchise's second title in a span of five seasons.
"But back in the old days I loved all the teams in the 1940s when I was a kid and starry-eyed… they were my heroes," Richter said. "Sammy Baugh, Andy Farkas, Bob Masterson, some of them even lived in the neighborhood. And I delivered newspapers to them because that’s the way they did it in the old days.”
Richter's favorite part of the day, however, came when he took his turn on the bench in the Redskins weight room. "Trying to lift that 300-pound weight," he said. "They took the weights off then I could lift the bar. That was a lot of fun.”
Richter, 90, then continued on to describe his unique encounters with many former Redskins as a paperboy.
“There was a player named Bob Masterson who lived there and he came out and played softball with us and was a really nice guy," Richter said. "Andy Farkas was a great running back in the 1940s and Sammy Baugh was on my route. He was on my route, his house was there, I delivered the paper faithfully every day and every Sunday but I never saw him or anybody at the house. The paper would be gone when I went the next day, but there was never anybody there. I would go to collect, there was never anybody there...Sam still owes me money.”
A native of Annapolis, Goldstein enlisted in the Army in 1942 and soon joined a B-17 crew as a waste gunner. During his time as a pilot, he flew 25 combat missions as a Staff Sergeant over Germany as part of the 8th Air Force.
As servicemen who have dedicated their lives to the armed forces, the Redskins then proceeded to invite Goldstein, Richter and fellow veterans to a first-class experience at FedExField to view the Redskins' Week 11 matchup against the Jets.
The group of servicemen were treated in an executive suite surrounded by fellow former armed forces members. After opening remarks by Vice Admiral James Kilby, the group of eleven men enjoyed the game, just as they have since their childhood.
"I’ve been a Redskins fan for over 80 years... so I jumped at the chance to [be here]," said Richter.
Alongside both Richter and Goldstein, the nine men that rounded out the group are listed below alongside their herculean accomplishments in the face of battle. The veterans were also honored at halftime against the Jets.
Lou Perrone - Served as a ball turret gunner on the B-17 Flying Fortress. From 1943-1945, he flew 32 missions with the 533rd Bomb Squadron. He is the only living member of his 10-man bomber crew who flew missions over Germany during World War II as part of the Eighth Air Force. He lives in Edgewater, Maryland.
George Arnstein - Served with the U.S. Army’s 76th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop (mechanized) in the European Theater including the Ardennes campaign, or the Battle of the Bulge. He lives in Washington, DC.
Dr. James Baldwin - Served in the European Theater of Operations as a Gunner, Mortar Platoon, HQ Company, 784th Tank Battalion, a segregated combat tank battalion which participated in actions along the Roer River in Belgium. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Colonel Frank Cohn - Was born in Breslau, Germany in 1925 and escaped to the U.S. with his parents at the age of 13. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and served in the European Theater of Operations during the Battle of the Bulge. During the subsequent Occupation, he served as Sergeant of the Guard at Obersursel guarding the war criminals tried in the 2nd Nuremberg trial and shipping documents back to the States for examination in support of war crime prosecutions. He lives in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
Peter Naylor - Enlisted in the Army Air Force as an Aviation Cadet in December 1943 and trained to be a B-29 Flight Engineer. He was scheduled for deployment to the Pacific Theatre when the war ended. Mr. Naylor used the G.I. Bill to earn an Engineering Degree. He was employed by the Department of the Navy and had assignments in Vietnam and South Korea.
Colonel Jim Riffe - Served with the U.S. Army’s 27th Infantry Division during World War II, leading a platoon in the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. He spent 30 years with the Army, including service as Chief of Staff of the 82nd Airborne Division. He lives in Gainesville, Virginia.
Ira Rigger - Served with the Seabees, the Naval Construction Force, in the Pacific Theater taking part in the Battle of Guam, the Battle of Peleliu, and the Battle of Iwo Jima. He lives in Cockeysville, Maryland.
Bob White - Served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a Corporal from 1945-1947 and trained at Shepherds Field, Texas. He was stationed in Barryfield, Indiana and Wheeler Field, Hawaii. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Herman Zeitchik - Stormed Utah Beach at H-hour.