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McCune: Caring About Those Who Serve

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This past week, the second round of OTAs were in full swing at Redskins Park. Next month comes mini-camp, followed by the long break before training camp opens in the final few days of July.

Like all members of the NFL fraternity, Redskins players like to take off to such relaxing venues as Las Vegas or Miami, Palm Springs or maybe even Cabo San Lucas for their vacation breaks.

Not Robert McCune.

In a few weeks, the Redskins' second-year linebacker out of Louisville will head off to Afghanistan.

As Redskins fans are well aware, McCune grew up in Mobile, Ala., and opted to go into the Army following high school. He spent three years in the U.S. National Guard and had stints in Kuwait and Korea before enrolling at Louisville.

On June 25, McCune will be part of a contingent that embarks upon a 12-day trip in support of U.S. troops abroad. Details of the trip are still being completed, according to McCune's representative, Ken Harris of Optimum Sports Management in Tampa, Fla.

Part of the trip will make a stop at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and the Pat Tillman USO Center, named in honor of the former Arizona Cardinal safety who was killed in eastern Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.

Last year, NFL standouts such as Warrick Dunn of the Falcons and Larry Izzo of the Patriots visited the Tillman Center to both support U.S. troops and honor Tillman, who gave up a lucrative NFL career in favor of military service.

Next month, McCune plans to do much the same, spending the equivalent of his summer vacation in one of the world's hot spots.

"This will be a great experience," says McCune. "I know what it's like to be away in the military. What you're looking for is a connection to home. I'm hoping I can do that."

He adds: "You want to hear about family and friends. You want to hear stories about what's going on at home. If I can do that for one soldier, it will be great."

His agent, Harris, says McCune is totally committed to the upcoming undertaking. "If you know Robert, you know he's a really serious guy," noted Harris. "This trip is something he really wants to do."

The Redskins selected two linebackers in the recent NFL Draft (Rocky McIntosh and Kevin Simon) and brought in another linebacker prospect as an undrafted rookie free agent (Spencer Havner). So McCune knows all about his challenges in terms of a second season in the NFL.

But for the upcoming interlude, McCune plans to do something about reaching out to U.S. military personnel in trying circumstances.

Serving and supporting those who serve. That's something to think about during the Memorial Day Weekend.

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