When Jason Witten stepped on the field for the Dallas Cowboys' joint practice with the St. Louis Rams on Monday, he had no idea about the special moment in his life that he was walking head first into. A Rams wide receiver brought Witten an old picture that reminded the two of them of a special moment they share together.
Rams receiver Danny Rodriguez served a 12-month tour in Afghanistan. While over there, he was one of 60 Americans who fought in the Battle of Kamdesh on Oct. 3, 2009. Rodriguez was one of the Americans wounded in the battle, but after 12 hours of battle, he survived.
Rodriguez was honored with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device. He was honored five months after the battle, and it was during Witten's NFL USO tour. Witten talked about the experience and what it means to see Rodriguez again now.
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"It was pretty special to know that you could make an impact on him like that," Witten said of Rodriguez presenting him the photo, per Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. "I saw the photo and I remember the exact spot. Being [there] with those guys was pretty surreal for me but had no idea he was in camp and so it's pretty special when you think of the big picture of where he came from, where he's at and you never know who you're going to meet and the impression you're going to make.
"He talked about the exact time where we were at, where we were eating. There was kind of joke that happened that he reminded me of. He said, 'Hey, man loved how you handled yourself,' and we got to meet you and kind of where we were at in our lives to have that time. He had a picture and he brought it and he wanted to give it to me. He thought I'd like it. I mean that wasn't what I was thinking when I came out to practice you know? Put a smile on face and thought, 'Wow, this guy is pretty special.'"
Witten has been known for making an impact on and off the field, but it's always special to read about an example of how Witten touched the life of a soldier who fought to protect this country's freedoms.
(h/t Dallas Morning News)