Joe Cardona enjoys two jobs that don’t get enough recognition.
Cardona is a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots as a long sniper. He is also a lieutenant in the US Naval Reserve. He is part of a selection group of service academy football players in the NFL. At Memorial Day Weekend, Cardona shares with USA that those who lost their lives received the attention they deserved. USAA is leading an effort to provide digital tributes to fallen Army members PoppyInMemory.com.
“It does a great job of making it a resource that highlights the people who make that sacrifice for us,” Cardona told Sporty News. “You can go and find out about the people who have been dating since World War I.”
Cardona was selected by New England England in the fifth round in 2015 and participated in the OTA ahead of this week’s seventh season. He was promoted to lieutenant in the Naval Reserve in 2019 and has maintained that double duty with the full support of the patriots.
Cardona said patriotic coach Bill Belichic, whose father Steve was a Navy assistant coach from 1956 66-89, is a midshipman football fan. They have conversations about navy football, and Cardona’s double career, all season long.
“Keeping a balance as a reserve player and an NFL player – on the reserve side it’s like my fellow reserve soldiers, shipmates or airmen who have a role to play,” he said. “I’ve taken a lot of pride in the role of a reserve and will eventually take the other side of the experience I’ve gained in the NFL with me.”
“It’s been a huge resource to make me a better officer,” he said. “As an NFL player, there aren’t a lot of people with day jobs out of the league.”
Cardona is one of the 13 players in the service establishments in the NFL, and Alejandro Villanueva of Ravens, whose first season was in 2014-2014, is the only player. Military players can now apologize for delaying service in the NFL, and there have been five players signed from those establishments this season.
Academy football players in the NFL
|Alexander the Great||T||Ravens||Army||201.|
|Garrett Griffin||TO||Saints||Air Force||201|
|Nolan Laufenberg||G||Broncos||Air Force||2021|
|George Sylvanic||DT||Rums||Air Force||2021|
|Parker Ferguson||T||Jets||Air Force||2021|
“The hope is that if we do things right, the Department of Defense, the Navy, our respective branches, and those of us who are still playing others can get the same opportunity.”
Cardona, who will play with the Dolphins against former Neville quarterback Malcolm Perry in the early 20’s, said the illness will continue to grow in the future.
“It’s a short list,” he said. “It’s always good to play against guys with similar backgrounds and stand up for the same values. Playing with people from the Army and Air Force has always been good. It’s a great experience for all of us, even if the competition is small.”
Visit the USA for more information on paying tribute to fallen military members PoppyInMemory.com. “It’s an honor to be associated with the USA in any capacity, but especially to honor those who have fallen and made the final sacrifice. That means a lot, and any moment is well reflected in that occasion,” Cardona said. .