The Oakland Raiders hosted the United States Marines at Training Camp 2010 for an afternoon practice in Napa, Calif., last week. The Marines were provided the opportunity to watch the Raiders football practice from the sidelines. The Oakland Raiders expressed their appreciation for the Marines' service by taking time to sign autographs. The Marines represent a Commitment to Excellence, a motto followed by the Oakland Raiders every day.
The United States Marines are teaming up with the Raiders this season and kicked off the relationship at a warm and exciting training camp practice. For Sgt. Robert Durham, Marketing & Public Affairs Marine from Recruiting Station San Francisco, and area Marine recruiters, coming out to practice is a nice break from the rigors and stress of the job. "Any second of spare time the recruiters can get is very much appreciated," explained Durham. "These Marines work extremely long hours trying to find the few young men and women that may have what it takes to be a United States Marine. That requires a great amount of effort and to accomplish that mission they are constantly on the job. Needless to say, this job involves stress. When they get the opportunity to step away from the office or from the streets for a moment and to sit back and relax and watch some football then they are very thankful for that I'm sure."
Durham was impressed to learn of the many similarities professional football players have with Marines. "I certainly had a stereotype broken for me here. To learn that the players aren't just going through the motions, that they take athleticism and professionalism so seriously and live such a regimented lifestyle reminds me of how Marines operate," said Durham. "For these players, football is not just a sport, its part of them. Just like being a Marine isn't just a job, it's a state of mind."
Gunnery Sgt. Will Kegler, Staff Non-Commissioned Office in Charge, Recruiting Sub-Station Santa Rosa, was thrilled to be watching the Raiders participate in one of the final training camp practices. "For myself being a huge football fan, originally from the East Coast, football is everything for me. It's great to just come out here and see all these guys practicing and also seeing [Raiders Owner] Al Davis out here and actually feel the excitement from the guys for this upcoming season," said Kegler.
During the season, the United States Marines are presenting the Color Guard for the Oakland Raiders home games at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. "The Marine Corps represents 234 years of heritage, winning America's battles, making Marines, and producing quality citizens," said Durham. "To be able to present the American flag to audiences of thousands and thousands of people is not only an opportunity, it's a privilege. The most effective symbol we can present to the public is a Marine in his dress blues." Kegler agreed with Durham. "We appreciate being the focal point for the game and also just being appreciated by all the fans as far as support for all the things that's going on around the world in conjunction with the guys stationed overseas. It's definitely a tremendous honor for us," said Kegler.
The Oakland Raiders appreciate all those who serve and are excited to work with the United States Marines for the 2010 season.