The Washington Redskins 2015 rookies visited the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va. with USO Metro DC and the Redskins Charitable Foundation on Friday, May 29, 2015.
From learning about the base's history to particpating in a combat simulator, Washington Redskins rookies on Friday experienced Marine Corps Quantico Base like few civilians ever have.
Redskins rookies on Friday were provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tour the Marine Corps Quantico Base in Prince William County, Va.
Just a short distance from Washington, D.C., their first stop of the day showed the history of Marines stationed on base flying the President of the United States on various helicopters.
Following that, the group went to one of the hangers that house several different helicopters that are used for various tasks.
They had the chance to look throughout the helicopters, even sitting in the cockpit.
Fourth-round pick Arie Kouandjio was one of the players who took advantage of the chance to sit up front, as the 6-foot-6, 315 pounder found a way to nestle himself into the seat.
As he acted as if he was manning the helicopter high in the sky, he said the event provided a reminder of the sacrifices others have made to keep the United States safe.
"It was great to be around the men and women who serve our country and for our freedom so we can be here and do the things that we love every day," he said. "It was great to share their lives for a little bit and to see what they train with and how they get to being as specialized as they are.
"For the most part it's all I've ever known. I'm proud to have been here, I'm proud to be a part of this country and I'm proud they go to work every day so guys like me can do the same."
Linebacker Martrell Spaight echoed his teammate's sentiment as he stood between two of the helicopters.
"It was definitely a cool experience to go and see a bunch of different airplanes that those guys use and to just see the way that they do things around here," he said.
The players then boarded a bus bound for Camp Upshur, where they participated in a virtual convoy combat simulation.
Outfitted with amour and weapons that replicate those used in battle, players were divided into different groups where they were assigned driver duties, being a side gunman or manning the gun on top of the Humvee.
For Virginia Tech product Kyshoen Jarrett, ithe experience provided a slight glimpse into the training put it by Marines during their time stationed on base.
"It was awesome. Just getting the opportunity to see what a lot of guys experience before they actually get into battle," he said. "I really enjoyed it."
Fullback Darrel Young – whose older brother David has served overseas – also joined the rookies on the trip.
An active participant in military appreciation events throughout the year, Young said any time he can meet with servicemen and servicewomen is "important to him."
"As we always say, the military is definitely special to us," he said. "It was nice to come out and have some fun with these guys and do something that they take so serious, but we can also have fun with it means a lot to them and means a lot to us."