It was a day dedicated to those who serve. Friday was Armed Forces Day at Colts training camp.
“It’s fantastic. We always appreciate the support. It’s nice when people go out of their way to appreciate us,” said Specialist Ellen Makris from the Indiana National Guard.
“The Colts, what they did today for our charity and our service members that are here, they brought family back together,” said Mike Denman from Wish For Our Heroes. “Sometimes, family and friends going through the hard times that they do, it’s hard to get that time together and really enjoy themselves.”
For a few minutes on Friday, they were able to relax, eat, and watch the players take the field, run some drills, and make some plays.
“I thought it was phenomenal,” said 10-year Navy veteran Jason Tillage. “It was my first time out to training camp here in Anderson and I thought it was great.”
Unfortunately, practice was cut short by thunderstorms.
But like football players, military members are used to changing game plans.
“You make the best out of a bad situation,” said Tillage. “That’s what we do every day.”
At times, Colts punter Pat McAfee has to do that on the field. Off the field, he’s a constant supporter of Wish For Our Heroes. Just as they are of him.
“He has a heart of gold when it comes to the military service members,” said Denman. “He’s always been there when asked for certain things. Or, he’s even come to us and said, ‘I want to do this.’ So, we’ve always kind of had a partnership with him and worked with him. He’s just a great guy.”
And a true American.
In appreciation for their service, the VIP military members took home a gift from BOSE.
The Colts honored all current and former members of the U.S. military with discounts on food and parking on Friday.
The Colts preparing for the season is a lot like soldiers preparing for combat, said Doug Robbins of the Army Recruiting Battalion of Indianapolis.
“You have to train as if you’re going to be playing the real sport 100 percent. So, you’ve got to give that 100 percent all the time and train as you fight. They do the same thing.”
And they have something else in common too, he said.
“We’re very competitive and we like to win.”
Just like in football, Robbins said in the military, no one can accomplish anything alone.
“One team. One fight.”
Thanks to all the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. We appreciate you every day.