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Rookie Washington Redskins offensive tackle Morgan Moses understands the value of military discipline. It’s what ultimately helped him make his way into the National Football League.

Moses and other members of the Redskins’ 2014 rookie class visited the USO Warrior and Family Center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) June 5, sharing a meal and some leisure time with NSAB service members while signing autographs and taking pictures with their fans.

Six foot, six inches Moses was highly recruited after high school, but didn’t have the grades to match his talent, making him ineligible to play university football. So he enrolled in a post-graduate program at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia to raise his grades and prepare for college.

“I learned discipline and it definitely grounded me because I almost lost football,” Moses said. “It gave me an avenue just to focus on school, so when I got to college I was able to make a smooth transition and my college years were a success.”

Moses’s appreciation for the military is echoed by teammate Silas Redd, a running back from the University of Southern California who was signed by the Redskins in May as an undrafted free agent. Redd’s father served eight years in the Marine Corps from 1979 to 1987, before Redd was born. That doesn’t diminish Redd’s understanding of the sacrifices made by today’s military personnel and their families, he said.

“I always have so much appreciation for them because of what they go through and we’re all thankful for what they do for us,” he said.

The event was catered by Mission BBQ, and owner Bill Kraus – who has one son in the Marine Corps and another son at the United States Naval Academy – was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the occasion.

“There’s nothing more American than the simple food of barbecue and nobody more American than these military personnel that do so much for us,” Kraus said. “It’s wonderful to see the Redskins doing their part and humbly thanking and realizing who the real heroes are. It’s good perspective.”

Army Maj. Ryan Oleszewski brought his wife, Ashley, and his 2-year-old son Lucas to visit with the players. Growing up halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Oleszewski admitted he roots for both the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins. But he couldn’t pass up the chance to meet Moses, a local alumni of the University of Virginia Cavaliers, long-time football rivals of Oleszewski’s alma mater, the University of Maryland Terrapins.

“I gave him a good ribbing,” Oleszewski said. “It’s really great that we have such good local partners and the Redskins are willing to come out and take a day off when they’re not in camp and spend time with us and hang out. It’s just a nice little respite of time away from what we do and what they do. It’s a special day to have family here and make memories.”

Moses agreed, and said he’s excited to be with an organization that places a priority on showing appreciation to our nation’s service members.

“It’s just a great opportunity to have fun and make them smile,” he said.