While the Baltimore Ravens may be struggling on the field this season, their off the field work is shining bright.
On Tuesday afternoon I had the opportunity to join several Ravens players and Operation Welcome Home Maryland at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport welcoming home 250 active military members, along with their families. (VIDEO)
“Any time you can spend time with the people who protect our freedoms and allow us to do what we do, this is just a small thing we can do to give back to them,” Ravens long snapper Morgan Cox – whose grandfather and great grandfather were in the military – said about his involvement in today’s event. “I can’t imagine being away from my family for as long as they are so just to be able to bring some joy to someone’s life is what’s important to me.”
Joining Cox at the celebration were teammates Brandon Stokley, Dallas Clark, Tyrod Taylor, Gerrard Sheppard, John Simon and Josh Bynes.
It was heartwarming to families being reunited with loved ones who have been deployed for over a year. Huge cheers rung out for the service members as they entered the concourse of the airport, which was flooded with “Welcome Home” banners. Each member of the military received bags filled with snacks, a shirt, and Ravens team photo along with autographs from the players on hand.
“It’s very important for us to be here,” said Stokley. “For what these men and women have done for us and for the sacrifices they have made, this is the least that myself and the rest of the guys here can do for them. To be able to show our support and say thank you to them is amazing.”
Many passersby stopped on their way to catch their own flights to shake hands and clap for the military members.
Since their inception in 2007 Operation Welcome Home Maryland has greeted over 300,000 military personnel after their return from overseas operations. The staff of this great organization is made up completely of volunteers, who have been there to make B.W.I. Airport the best in the country when it comes to greeting returning veterans.
This day wasn’t about the Ravens or myself. It was about families being reunited with loved ones, and our military personnel who protect our freedoms returning safely and giving thanks to them for their sacrifices.
For more information about Operation Welcome Home and how to get involved please visit http://www.operationwelcomehomemd.org/
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