HOUSTON (CBS Radio) – During a week in which the Texans are coming off a triumphant win over the 8-0 Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football, the team has quickly been reminded that there is more to life than football.
The Texans are holding their Salute to Service Week presented by FMC Technologies, which started out with a Stars & Strikes Bowling event for 100 military members and their families early in the week. On Thursday, the team hosted a barbecue at NRG Stadium for 200 troops and veterans. After lunch, they got to attend a private practice and meet the team, and all the players and coaches agreed that it was an awesome experience. This is what a handful had to say about the special day:
Wide receiver Cecil Shorts
“A lot of people look up to us but honestly I look up to them because they do the hard work they sacrifice their lives every day and we definitely appreciate that.
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins
“They do a lot for this nation. If I could, I’d let them be at every practice because of the sacrifices that they make for us to be free, to be out here doing whatever we want. It was great to be able to meet a lot of people who look up to us, but actually we look up to them too.”
Wide receiver Nate Washington
“I told a lot of them that some of them may be able to my job but there’s no way I can do theirs. I commend them. Without them we wouldn’t be we wouldn’t have the opportunities and freedoms that we have.”
Nose tackle Vince Wilfork
“That’s special because of what they do for us. It was priceless. People kept saying, ‘Thank you for your time.’ No, trust me, you can come out here any time of day you want. Thank you for what you do for our country. It means a lot to me to see them come out here and for us to show our appreciation towards them because they’re the true heroes. Today was a good day for us to pay our respects to them and let them understand how much they mean to us. Seeing the troops put a smile on my face and it put things into perspective. We just want them to know that we appreciate everything they do for us and our country.”
The week will end with the Salute to Service game when the Texans host the Jets at NRG Stadium at noon on Sunday. Last season, the team hosted more than 300 service members at the annual game. Here are the scheduled activities for this year’s event:
Pregame Entertainment: Military tribute video with live close of TORO repelling into the stadium
National Anthem: Staff Sargent Tracy LaBrecque from the United States Army Pershing’s Own featuring Challenger the American Bald Eagle
Color Guard: Oversized USA Shaped Flag being held by active duty soldiers as well as a joint color guard with all (5) branches of the military presenting colors
Texas Flag Holders: Active duty soldiers from all five branches of the military
Halftime: The United States Marines Silent Drill Platoon