Alejandro Villanueva is an offensive tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers, former Army Ranger, and Bronze Star recipient. He joins Federalist Radio to discuss his career in the military, the NFL, the transition between the two, and fishing in rural Pennsylvania.
Villanueva described growing up on a military base in Spain, watching Marines land and his discovering his own desire to serve. “When you see the attitude and the tension in the air of when a unit is about to deploy, you can really understand it,” he said. “If I could have stolen their uniform and got on a plane, I would have done that but I had to wait for my turn.”
In 2014, Steeler’s head coach Mike Tomlin noticed Villanueva at a pre-season game, just before he got cut from the Eagles. “I knew it was going to be very unusual to see a football player saluting the flag, but obviously that’s Army regulation and I had to follow it,” Villanueva said.