As we celebrate the Memorial Day weekend, it is worth remembering our military personnel who have sacrificed their lives while defending the freedom we hold dear.
Daniel Rodriguez, an Army veteran and recipient of both the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, is a rookie wide receiver for the St. Louis Rams.
He has a wonderful story to share about his path to the Rams, who just recently signed him.
“When they invited me, I was like, ‘Heck yeah, I would love to try out,'” Rodriguez told the team’s website. “I’ve got nothing to lose. They flew me out here and I thought I was only going to be here for a two-day trial. And they said I had a pretty good workout, made some plays, and they offered to have me stay. It was one of those things that I couldn’t really believe happened, and it was all a whirlwind. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I had invitations to other minicamps down the road, and I was just trying to take advantage of every one. And this one was the first one and it stuck. Honestly, it was a blessing in disguise.”
Definitely worth reading, the long version of Rodriguez’ story covers his tour of duty in Iraq and the Battle of Kamdesh. He also made a pact with a fellow soldier that he would eventually play college football. Unfortunately, Rodriguez lost his friend during combat.
However, Rodriguez did make good on that promise. He walked on as a wide receiver for Clemson, where he had an opportunity to play for the team from 2012-14.
Here is one of three videos where Rodriguez emotionally describes his military and college football experience.
What a truly amazing and brave young man. It will certainly be interesting to follow Rodriguez over the course of the summer to see if he can achieve his next goal—a spot on the Rams final 53-man roster. Considering all the obstacles he has overcome in his life, we wouldn’t put it past him.