Alright, I have no idea what the Hogs Haven salute looks like. It's certainly never been given to me, unless that is what all those horns I always hear honking on the road are about, or all those punches in the face from random strangers. (Hmmmm...I think I am going to stop letting Kevin do my PR.)
You can't live in or represent the Washington, D.C. area without being touched in some way by our nation's armed forces. (Don't do it, Kevin...resist...the...urge...to knock that softball out of the park.)
There is not a finer group of Americans than the ones that suit up everyday for Uncle Sam and represent our interests domestically and abroad. The fact of the matter is that they are, for the most part, better than all of us. Our debt to them is beyond calculation. Don't forget to take the opportunity this week to say, "Thank You."
I'll get things started by thanking my two grandfathers, Vic Fortwengler and Al Meringolo. Vic is an old salty dog (Navy) and a World War Two veteran who joined the rest of his generation in the heroic response to a call to arms. Al is a Marine (once a Marine, always a Marine...there is no such thing as "retired") who served in Korea and is a member of the revered "Chosin Few." If you want to understand what being a badass really means, look up who the Chosin Few are and learn about the battle that took place on and around the Chosin Reservoir. Granddad & Granddad--thank you for your service and dedication to your country and your family.
I could spend hundreds, if not thousands, of words individually thanking my friends and family members that wear or have worn the greatest jersey ever made. Please know that you are very much appreciated. I would like to thank our own Ronnie Adkins for his service in the Army. Ronnie very much appreciates extended hugs when you see him. You'll know you have hugged him for the appropriate amount of time when you begin to feel uncomfortable. As far as I know, that has NOTHING to do with why he is no longer on active duty.
Here are a few things going on with the Redskins that tie into this theme (this list is by no means exhaustive):
--The Redskins organization is running a season-long program called Operation Salute Our Troops.
Last, but not least, I know we have MANY readers who are part of military families. To all those people right now whose loved ones are currently in harm's way, I would first like to say thank you for your family's sacrifice, and would also like to make sure you know that your families remain in all of our thoughts and prayers. Here's hoping that a place like Hogs Haven offers you momentary escapes from an otherwise difficult experience.
Editor's note: I love how Parks writes an article about players that "have to go"--an article I very much enjoyed reading by the way--and I follow that up with a salute to our military. It almost isn't fair. I guess I just love my country and Parks just hates on players. Hahahaha. Keep up the great work, Parks. Next week when you write about how Joe Gibbs was an awful coach, I will be sure to follow that up with a fluffy public service announcement about kittens.