ASHBURN, VA – On Armed Forces Day, about 200 Washington D.C. area military and civilian family children, ages 5-11, spent the afternoon playing football with current and former Washington Redskins players at Redskins Park in Ashburn on Saturday, May 19.
Washington Redskins team president Bruce Allen kicked off the day’s activities in the team’s practice bubble by welcoming the children to the event. Parents cheered on their children from the sidelines while the Redskins players, alumni, and volunteers threw and caught footballs and ran through a series of drills with the kids.
Redskins players at the event were Samaje Perine, Kapri Biggs, and alumni Derrick Dockery, Chris Cooley, Kedric Golston, Roger McIntosh, Antwaan Randle El, and Rick “Doc” Walker.
Yellow Ribbons United (YRU), in partnership with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, hosted the inaugural “United in Play” event, a military youth support initiative. YRU is focused on bridging the gap between military service and civilian life by encouraging Americans to express their appreciation for military families through civic and social action.
Founded by Emma Dockery and her husband and Derrick Dockery, a former Washington Redskins player, Yellow Ribbons United was inspired by the death of Emma’s brother, Sgt. David Williams, who lost his life fighting for the United States in Afghanistan.
Emma’s father Colonel David Williams, who retired after 30 years in the Army, was present at the United in Play event.
“Yellow Ribbons United is thrilled to partner with the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation on the 68th anniversary of Armed Services Day to show our appreciation for military families and the sacrifices they make on a daily basis,” said Emma Dockery.
“We hope the power of sports will unite our military and civilian communities and encourage active appreciation from our civilian kids for the sacrifices their military peers make,” she added.
United in Play uses sports to help bridge the divide and unite military and civilian kids with healthy team building activities with some of their favorite Washington Redskins players and alumni, according to Emma Dockery.
“The event went extraordinarily well,” Emma Dockery said. “Anytime you see such big smiles on children’s faces it becomes evident that we achieved what set out to do–to honor military children for their service to this nation.”
“It was incredible to have the opportunity to work with the Redskins Charitable Foundation and we look forward to the event next year,” she added.
To find out more about the organization, including donations and volunteer opportunities, visit: yellowribbonsunited.org.