DOVE VALLEY, Colo. — Ahead of Broncos training camp Monday, the team hosted dozens of deserving service members for an annual football camp.
Fifty active duty service members from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps got the rare opportunity to train like professional athletes.
“Doing the vertical jump and the gauntlet was a little more intense than I thought it would be but overall it was a fun experience,” said Andre Elam, an Air Force Staff Sergeant.
“It’s a chance to get away from the daily work duties in the office and just to do something different,” said Demecia Terry, an Air Force member. “Which kind of opens your eyes and let’s you know what’s out there and what challenges these NFL players have to deal with on a daily basis for them.”
Former Broncos running back Reggie Rivers comes from an Air Force family and understands first hand the sacrifice and commitment these men and women make.
“It’s a big commitment and sometimes they have to make the ultimate sacrifice so that’s why I think this event means a lot to me,” said Rivers. “[It] Means a lot to the Broncos and to see these guys and girls out here just having a good time, just doing something a little bit different I think is pretty nice.”
For those who dreamed of playing pro ball, it’s a chance to get a small taste but more importantly those serving say simply being recognized means a lot.
“Even if it’s not deployed to Afghanistan of Iraq, just the sacrifices you make on the daily job of the late hours we work and nobodies asking for no sympathy,” said Derrick Williams, a Captain with the Army. “This is a way for people to reach back and say hey we know you guys are here, we know you’re working hard and hey here’s an opportunity to just come out and enjoy yourself and have fun.”
The event is made possible by the Denver Broncos and USAA, the team’s official military appreciation sponsor.
In a press release on behalf of the Broncos organization, “USAA’s NFL Boot Camp represents the evolution of military appreciation events that USAA and the Broncos have created to foster an understanding and appreciation for the local military community.”