MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
On July 28, 2016 the Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcomed military members and their families to One Buc Place to view the first practice of the season.
The event, which was open to all service members, veterans and their families, is part of Military Day, an annual event the Buccaneers host to highlight and honor Tampa’s robust military community. Visitors had the opportunity to watch practice plays, meet players and interact with various exhibits.
“To practice in front of our military personnel is such an honor,” said Buccaneers defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, who explained events like this is one small way for the team to thank those who serve.
This year, more than 1,500 people attended the event. However, for many service members, Military Day was their first experience with the team.
First time attendee, Tommy Taarq, a retired veteran, explained watching practice drills and meeting the players was a unique experience for him and his family, but the most impressive part of the day was seeing how dedicated the Buccaneers are to families and the military community.
“The best part was how welcoming and inviting the atmosphere is for military families,” said Taarq. “It’s great to have an event like this that gives back to families who also have to make sacrifices.”
Although Military day is one day of the year, MacDill’s relationship and efforts to bolster community relations with the Buccaneers is ongoing.
“This is a phenomenal event for our military community,” explained Col. Randy Bright, the commander of the 927th Air Refueling Wing. “The Bucs are our hometown team. They have always embraced the military community at MacDill and they are showing support by bringing the military out here today.”