As an Army veteran, there is quite possibly no greater feeling than knowing that people are grateful for your service to our great nation. This weekend, in cooperation with the USO (United Service Organization), the NFL sent coaches Gary Kubiak (Houston Texans), Ken Whisenhunt (Arizona Cardinals) and Jim Mora (formerly with the Saints and Colts) to the Persian Gulf to meet with U.S. troops.
The tradition, which has previously included the likes of Bill Cowher, John Gruden, Marvin Lewis and other NFL coaches, allows the NFL to bring a piece of home to the troops.
Simultaneously, the coaches are allowed a glimpse into the hardships and fortitude of the United States military, the greatest fighting force in the world. This visit with troops, no matter how brief, creates a sense of awe and gratitude to any person, no matter what their political stance may be.
Perhaps this year, more so than those of the recent past, will be more meaningful than others as the NFL grinds out the expired CBA and works on rescuing the 2011 season. Players and coaches alike could take a note from our fighting forces on what it takes to compromise, work together and accomplish a common goal—no matter what obstacles stand in the way.
Football, for troops who are thousands of miles away from family and friends, is a uniting force among the military. No matter where you are from, or whom your favorite team is, when the games are on, everyone comes together.
So, owners and players alike, if you can't seem to find a common ground...if things keep grinding to a halt...if you just can't agree on what is best for everyone...let me introduce you to my brothers and sisters in arms, let us work on it and we'll have it solved in no time.
America needs football, the American economy needs football and above all else, our military men and women need football!
God Bless America!