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This Player Needed Permission From His CO To Play In The Super Bowl This Weekend
For every professional football player, there is no day of the year more important than Super Bowl Sunday. There’s not a player in the NFL who’d ever pass up the opportunity to play in the championship game. But New England Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona almost didn’t have a choice.
The second-year member of the team is also a U.S. Navy reservist and was scheduled to drill this weekend in Newport, Rhode Island.
“I had to reschedule it,” Cardona said in an interview with Yahoo News.
He’s lucky his commander gave him a pass.
Cardona graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2015, and shortly after, he was drafted by the New England Patriots as a fifth-round NFL pick. During Cardona’s first year on the team, he played while still on active duty. He worked full time at the Naval Preparatory Academy in Newport, and then drove to practice in the evenings — an hour commute each way.
“The way he handled two jobs [as a rookie] just showed a lot of maturity and that can instill a lot of confidence when you’re working with someone like that,” punter Ryan Allen told Yahoo News.
Head coach Bill Belichick agrees.
“Joe represents everything that we want to stand for,” he said at a news conference, “and he’s a great person and of course his real job, defending our freedom, is at the very top of the list.”
A photo posted by Ben Volin (@benvolin) on
Belichick himself has deep ties to the Naval Academy. His late father, Steve, was a World War II veteran who coached football for more than three decades at the academy. There’s even a library at the school named after him where a collection of his historic football books is preserved, according to ESPN.
As for Cardona, I guess the Super Bowl is a pretty good reason for him to get out of drill weekend… but only if the Patriots win.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.