PHOENIX — Soldiers and their families at Luke Air Force Base had a little treat Tuesday, when several Arizona Cardinals players held a meet-and-greet at the base.
Sam Acho, Karlos Dansby, Andre Roberts, Mike Gibson, Lyle Sendlein, Daryn Colledge and Jonathan Cooper got an up-close look at F-16 aircraft and a hangar, and then posed for pictures and autographs.
Texas fan Sgt. Ryan Gonzalez was especially happy to meet Sendlein, a former Longhorn star player.
“We talked a little bit about the national championship in 2005 and the one that got away in 2009,” Gonzalez said. “Hopefully, the Longhorns will go to the Fiesta Bowl this year. If they do, I will be there.”
The tour was special for wide receiver Roberts.
“Both of my parents are in the Army, and I went to the Citadel, which is a military school,” Roberts said. “I know a whole bunch of guys who are fighting for this country as well. To come out here and support these guys, it means a lot to me.”
Dansby, a linebacker, said he jumped at the chance to come out on the players’ day off to show their support for the military.
“The sacrifices that these guys are making just for our freedom and the preparation that they have to go through in training…it’s perfect,” Dansby remarked.
Dansby said football players have something in common with the soldiers. He said that, just like playing for the Cardinals, keeping an F-16 in the air takes teamwork.
“You have to be on the same page and your communication has to be on point,” Dansby said. “You can’t make a mistake, man.”