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Philadelphia Eagles Sign 6-Foot-9, 277 Pound Army Ranger

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There are a lot of people out there who look up to professional athletes as heroes. Even if you don’t, there’s one pro football player that I think we can all agree is certainly a hero.

The Philadelphia Eagles recently signed Alejandro Villanueva. His name may not ring a bell for you. See, he wasn’t playing football these past few years. In fact, he hasn’t been on the field since 2009. Villanueva, formerly West Point’s offensive captain, was serving his country since he commissioned as an infantry officer in 2010.

In addition to some fairly impressive football stats from West Point, as well as his Bachelor of Science in systems engineering, the 6-foot-9, 277 pound Villanueva, who was recently promoted to the rank of captain, also boasts a few other achievements. To name a few:

According to the Eagles’ release, Villanueva has earned a number of honors for his service, including the Bronze Star Medal for valor; the Ranger tab; the Parachutist Badge; the Bronze Star Medal for overseas service; National Defense Service Medal; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star; Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon; NATO Medal; and Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Expert Infantryman’s Badge.

Not too shabby. However, those awards alone aren’t nearly as impressive as how he got them.

During his first deployment to Afghanistan, Villanueva earned the Bronze Star Medal for valor for moving forward under enemy fire to pull wounded soldiers from an isolated position, according to the Eagles’ release.

If that wasn’t enough, Villanueva volunteered to serve in the elite 75th Ranger Regiment and went on to serve an additional two tours in Afghanistan.

You could definitely say he’s a leader both on and off the field. I don’t know how he’ll play, but I can tell you that regardless of his performance in games, Captain Villanueva is going to be a valuable asset to the Eagles.

[via ESPN]

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