JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
There’s just something about going outside and running around with friends. It’s like nothing else in the world. Scientists and doctors will tell you about endorphins or other chemical reactions that the body produces. I’m no doctor, no scientist, no scholar. All I know is that there is something amazing that happens when you go out and truly allow yourself to enjoy the moment, when nothing else matters but the game you’re playing and you lose yourself in the sheer joy of the now.
I was able to do that on April 1 with almost 40 other Brooke Army Medical Center staff members. They took to the field at Freedom Park, behind the USO’s Warrior Family Support Center for a game of flag football. It was the culmination to March’s “Building Back Grit and Resiliency” month. During that month, we all had several opportunities to relax, reflect, and recover from a lot of the difficulties we’ve all been facing over the last few years. Because, let’s face it, it’s been a huge strain on the medical field. Facing down a pandemic is no mean feat and our folks here have done it with both a determination and grace that are – quite frankly – inspiring.
So, we took to the field. We’d invited some former NFL Players to join us and a few accepted the offer and joined us to serve as coaches. Rodrick Walker, who had been with the Houston Texans and is now serving as the president of the NFL Players Association San Antonio/Austin Chapter, and Mike Hendricks, who played for the Buffalo Bills during his NFL career, helped lead the teams. And me? I was the default referee for this game.