A handful of New Orleans Saints teamed up with USAA on Tuesday, Oct. 29 to visit the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse.
"USAA is the official military appreciation sponsor of the NFL and New Orleans Saints," retired Air Force Colonel Tom Fossen said. "Today is a great honor. We get to partner with the Saints and come to the 159th Fighter Wing. It's a great opportunity for us, together, to show our appreciation for the men and women who wear the uniform. It's a great way to say thank you for serving our country.
Running back Pierre Thomas, linebacker Will Herring, linebacker Kevin Reddick, tackle Marcel Jones and team ambassador Michel Lewis were greeted by nearly 100 military members at the Aircraft Static display.
!(http://www.neworleanssaints.com/media-center/photo-gallery/USAANew-Orleans-Saints-Military-Visit-Oct-29-2013/72f6c15c-b2fc-4893-a473-449ebbb09f07)"We got to come out here and just visit with some of the service men and women," Thomas said. "It's been a great time. We got to shake hands and basically tell them how much we appreciate them and all they do to serve our country."
The players mingled with military members, took photographs and signed autographs while thanking them for their service to our country and community. The players also had the opportunity to learn about the F-15 fighter jet and sit in the cockpit.
"If it wasn't for these guys, we wouldn't be doing the things that we do," Thomas said. "They keep us safe. They keep us happy. We're happy to know that we have people like this to have our backs and fight for us. Knowing us as players, we fight for our cities but when we see our military base and military people, they are fighting for us and our safety and us to live in this wonderful world. You have to really appreciate that.
The New Orleans Saints and USAA are gearing up for the military appreciation game that will take place the next time the Saints play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 10 against the Dallas Cowboys.