After a fun-filled summer teaching kids how to spike balls at the youth clinic, watching the world’s fastest racehorses at the Belmont and partying with his family in Buffalo, Gronk had a very special appointment last week.
Rob went to the Joint Base Lewis–McChord in Tacoma, Washington, near Seattle, to visit the servicemen stationed there – giving them a morale boost and a lot of light entertainment.
It’s been a while since the Patriots were last in the Pacific Northwest facing off against the Seahawks (let’s not talk about that 24-31 loss to them in November 2016), but thankfully this trip didn’t involve the Legion of Boom.
Instead he got to hang out with members of the Army and Air Force plus their family members at the joint base that has transformed itself from being dubbed the U.S. military’s “most troubled base” to winning recognition in the Army Communities of Excellence awards program.
The meet and greet arranged by Procter and Gamble at the Lewis Main Exchange was only meant to last two hours ...
But the line to meet Gronk went all the way out the door and wrapped around the Target-sized store so Rob and his trusty sidekick Bobby Goons stuck around for overtime to make sure that everyone got to meet them.
“It’s just an honor to come here and see the men and women in uniform … to see how happy they are to come through and get a picture and autograph,” Gronk marveled after the extra-long event. “It’s a blessing at the same time, I want to thank everyone – all the men and women in uniform fighting for our country.”
While the troops at Lewis–McChord got to meet their NFL hero, “they’re our real heroes,” he said, as he signed footballs, shirts, photos and anything they could get their hands on.
Having been through his own share of injuries over this career, Rob also had some sound advice for the any injured servicemen and women, telling them “tough times don’t last, tough people do for sure … you learn from it and come back even stronger and better.”
With Bill Belichick’s U.S. Navy background and respect for the troops, we’re sure he was impressed with how his number one tight end is spending his off-time.