Saluting Our Heroes NFL Boot Camp
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WFXG) - When soldiers hear the term "going to the field", it usually means a training exercise in the woods.
But for some lucky service members across the southeast, it meant training on the Carolina Panther's training camp field.
USAA in partnership with the NFL hosted its annual "Salute to Service Boot Camp."
Service members are paired in teams and compete in NFL drills, all for bragging rights, and free tickets to a Panthers game.
In 2021, Fort Gordon won the competition led by Chaplin Horace Roberts.
"Last year it was on a different field,". Roberts said. "No cleats this year, my team was at a disadvantage, but they still came out pretty good."
Butler Kendrick is a military affairs agent with USAA. Butler said it's the least USAA can do for those who serve.
Kendrick said, "We know what it means to serve and we want to give back and show them how we take care of them."
Kendrick served in the Army himself for 31 years.
Fox Sports anchor Jay Glazer said it was the tragedy of September 11th that gave him a new respect for the military.
"I didn't know where to go for safety," Glazer said. "It wasn't until two fighter jets came flying over head, I was like thank God I'm safe."
As for the competition, Fort Gordon didn't when this year. However, Chaplin Roberts said the day was more about the respect.
"It was exciting, refreshing to know we are recognized," Roberts said.
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