The 124th installment of the Army-Navy college football game, better known as “America’s Game,” will be played in New England for the very first time, something former Patriots great Rob Gronkowski thinks is the perfect place for this famed contest.
Gronkowski is also using “America’s Game” to give back to those that fought for our freedoms as members of the Army and the Navy.
Gronkowski helped the United Services Automobile Association (USAA), the proud sponsor of the Army-Navy Game and the official “Salute to Service” partner of the NFL, give away two National Auto Body Council Recycled Rides to deserving families of military veterans.
Army Sgt. Robert Trevino will be receiving a 2022 Chevy Silverado, which has been retrofitted to accommodate his disability, while Navy Petty Officer Kyle Kohlgraf and Alexandria Torres Schroeder will receive a 2019 Chevy Blazer as well.
“They were well deserved, there’s no doubt about that,” Gronkowski told Fox News Digital. “And USAA does such a great job giving away these vehicles through their ‘Recycled Rides’ program. So thankful for USAA for including me in the giveaways. It just makes it that much better that a guy like myself, a football stud, gets to give away vehicles to an Army stud and a Navy stud and to their families.
“The reactions on their faces are unbelievable. I love to do it.”
This isn’t the first time Gronkowski has helped USAA give away vehicles to deserving veterans via the “Recycled Rides” program, but this is the first time he’s doing so with the Army-Navy game “right in my backyard,” as he put it.
Having spent years winning championships with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Gronkowski’s appreciation for the military and its veterans has increased exponentially.
He believes Patriots owner Robert Kraft is a big reason why that’s the case today, and why it’s especially important this storied rivalry writes its next chapter right outside of Boston.
“It is definitely America’s game and it represents the nation well,” Gronkowski explained. “It represents the military well right here in my backyard because Mr. Robert Kraft and the Kraft family do such a great job providing and raising awareness for our military.
“There’s many times we had military members at practices, meet-and-greets with them at training camp, because they love our military. Robert Kraft stands for our military. He loves to give back to them, and I love to give back to them myself.”
Kraft added in a statement about the game: “In New England, we value history, honor tradition, and celebrate sports rivalries. That’s why we are so thrilled for the opportunity to host America’s Game at Gillette Stadium in 2023.”
USAA also leaned into the crucial history that Boston has in our country, especially when it comes to the American Revolution. The company unveiled a 374-pound bag of tea, sourced from three veteran-owned small businesses, that was imported to the site of the USS Constitution for public display ahead of the game.
The bag of tea will be traveling throughout Boston during the Patriot Games on Friday, as well as a Fan Fest activation at Gillette Stadium. It will then be donated to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.
Like every spectator that will flock to Gillette Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Gronkowski is excited to see these two branches of the military go head-to-head on the same gridiron he graced in his career.
But while this is a game where two rivals go at it on the field, the camaraderie and respect that’s been showcased for the last 123 years is what truly matters.