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    NFL Super Bowl champion virtually meets with Soldiers deployed to Poland

    NFL Super Bowl champion virtually meets with Soldiers deployed to Poland

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Shane Klestinski | Sgt. Alexis Nassimos (left), a paralegal specialist, and other Soldiers deployed to...... read more read more

    Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski, NFL football player for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and four-time Super Bowl champion, answered questions from members of the Florida Guard’s 50th Regional Support Group (RSG) and other Soldiers deployed to Forward Operating Site Powidz, Poland, on March 12, 2021.

    Gronkowski also took questions about his life and sports career from service members in Saudi Arabia, Greenland, Cuba, and Virginia, while several other military audiences watched the program from bases all over the world.

    The Military Virtual Programming (MVP) Champions series began in 2020 as part of the USO’s Combat COVID-19 Initiative. It has hosted more than 7,200 livestream events that have given approximately 600,000 military service members the opportunity to connect virtually with American sports stars.

    “It was an out-of-this-world experience,” said Spc. Lamar Harris, an intelligence analyst and avid football fan assigned to the 50th RSG. “Being able to hear Gronk’s stories and learn from his experiences isn’t something you can do every day. I hope we get to do more things like this on deployment.”

    The 50th RSG, based in Homestead, Florida, is deployed to Poland to support the European Deterrence Initiative as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve by providing management and base operations support at forward operating sites throughout the country.

    Gronkowski has participated in previous USO events, which include visiting injured combat veterans in Walter Reed Hospital and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. He received the USO-Metro Merit Award in March 2019. According to the USO’s website, the Merit Award is earned for being “an individual of outstanding creative talent who is dedicated to serving others through volunteerism, particularly for our military.”

    “Thank you guys for everything you do, day in and day out,” Gronkowski said as the livestream neared its end. “A lot of times people call me a hero and all that – I’m not the hero – you guys are the true heroes. You guys are letting us back home do what we love to do because you’re protecting us and giving us the freedom that America deserves.”




    Date Taken: 03.12.2021
    Date Posted: 04.09.2021 02:41
    Story ID: 393329
    Location: POWIDZ, PL 

    Web Views: 117
    Downloads: 0