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Happy Memorial Day 2014

Thank you.

Richard Heathcote

Happy Memorial Day, everyone. Thank you to all the military veterans out there who have served, continue to serve, and will serve again.

As we know, Philadelphia Eagles have a veteran of their own in defensive end and former U.S. Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva. Villanueva is a self-admitted long-shot that everyone should be rooting for this summer as he tries to make it in the NFL.

Some suggested reading material while we spend today remembering those who died serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Alejandro Villanueva's long NFL path - ESPN
It was near dusk in Kandahar Province when an Afghan schoolteacher snapped. The Taliban had previously accused him of being an informant for the American military, pulled his teeth out, bloodied his face and threatened to kill his family. He exacted revenge on Aug. 25, 2011. Atop a hill in southern Afghanistan, the 10th Mountain Division of the U.S. Army received a call that someone -- the teacher, as it turned out, who was indeed an informant -- had opened fire on a group of approximately 25 Taliban militants meeting inside a mosque in a nearby town. A handful were gravely wounded in the spree, and the Taliban began evacuating the others by taxi. Lieutenant Alejandro Villanueva, a 23-year-old former Army football player and rifle platoon leader of the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, gathered his troops to act on the call.

Rachel Washburn: An American Hero -
From 2007-2010, Eagles cheerleader Rachel Washburn stood on the Eagles sidelines watching all of the different battles play out between the white lines at Lincoln Financial Field. Just a few years later, Rachel was no longer standing outside the lines. She had traded in her midnight green Vera Wang-designed cheerleader uniform for army fatigues. Rachel left Philadelphia to serve in Afghanistan as a member of the United States Army. Tonight, 1st Lt. Rachel Washburn will return to Lincoln Financial Field and be honored as the Eagles "Hometown Hero."

Bob Kalsu's sacrifice rooted in his Oklahoma upbringing - Buffalo Rumblings
Bob Kalsu left pro football and made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. It was the only decision to be made, given the way he was raised.

Some Eagles players took to Twitter to express their gratitude:

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Use this post as an open thread to spend time together today.

Also take a moment to speak of your service in the comments, or to express your own thoughts to those who do serve.

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