Dallas Cowboys: A soldier’s Veterans Day message

Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

With the sting of defeat starting to wear off, this past Sunday’s tribute put on by these Dallas Cowboys for the U.S. Armed Forces was masterfully done. It is something I believe wasn’t talked about enough.

As I sat with the crowd during this weekend’s halftime tribute for the Medal of Honor recipients, I can say without any hesitation that I sat alongside some of the most battle-hardened combat veterans and there was zero shame when I shed a few tears remembering those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

I might be biased because I myself am a retired 20 plus year Army veteran but the only thing I can contribute now is words for my fellow service members. I hope everyone is enjoying this fine Veterans day but I would like to take time to thank anyone and everyone who has contributed in any way to those who have written a blank check for their country.

Veterans Day will always hold a special place to the Dallas Cowboys

This also includes Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. You see, the Cowboys rarely alter their uniforms so I must send Jerry Jones a salute for bringing back the red stripe to honor this country’s backbone.

There is a bond between current and former Cowboys players that is often on display at games and events and I would like everyone to know the same bond exists between U.S service members throughout the globe.

It is surreal when you think about it but former Cowboys quarterbacks Eddie “Little General” LeBaron who was the Cowboys’ first quarterback and  Roger “Captain America” Staubach are part of the same fraternity as I am.

No, we do not know each other but I believe those who serve are cut from the same fabric and have a different mindset that places the needs of the country above their own. Knowing that people served their country and got to play football for a living is an American dream that can be achieved.

That simple paragraph is probably one of the most powerful yet impactful things in this world.

Those two veterans along with many more are part of the reason why I love sports so much. There is nothing in this world that compares to the camaraderie servicemembers develop during their time in the service.

The only thing that comes close is sports but depending on someone else to do their job in order for you to stay alive and vice versa is a trust that can only be built with one goal in mind. That goal is freedom.

Whenever I see or hear athletes talking about going to war with their teammates, it reminds me of my fellow Soldiers that actually went to war. Those terms professional athletes use are often in reference to service members and the lingo we use.

I also must give Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott so much credit for his stance on mental health. Like sports, the machismo nature of military business often forces service members to hide their mental scars.

Dak Prescott helped make it ok for you to show that your mental health needs medical attention also. That type of leadership by my favorite team’s star quarterback helped me rethink my stance and I’m sure it has helped many others.

That is three Cowboys quarterbacks who have led the way and set a great example for our uniformed personnel. America’s Team is alive and well! The military is not an easy job but taking pride in knowing what you do in this life allows the masses to live free and do what they want is the main reason why Soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and Sailors serve.

Players like veteran and former Cowboys defensive tackle Chad Hennings who flew aircraft in the Airforce and still won three Super Bowl rings are exactly the reason the United States of America is the greatest and most opportunistic place on earth.

That statement almost reads like the Cowboys’ defense this season. Not perfect but opportunities await.

People like Pat Tillman whose life reads more like a movie script is probably the most famous example of an athlete turned Soldier yet his story is so fascinating to most Americans because of the monetary sacrifice he gave up but I believe he had what whispers to most service members.

The truth is, every warfighter gives up the most valuable thing anybody can ever want and that thing is time. The time lost away from your family to patrol, protect, and fight for your country cannot ever be given back but satisfaction knowing Americans can safely enjoy their freedom is priceless.

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The only currency Freedom accepts is sacrifice. So whether you say Hooah, Oorah, Hoorah, or Hooyah, this day is and will always belong to you. The Landry Hat wants to thank you for your service and thank you for your sacrifice.