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Blog Entry

Army hero Daniel Rodriguez's football dream

Posted on: February 7, 2012 1:14 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2012 1:15 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson

On National Signing Day, hundreds of aspiring college football players signed letters of intent to accept scholarships and attend FBS universities. Players come from all different kinds of backgrounds, but all have the same dream of suiting up in a Division I football game. 24-year-old Daniel Rodriguez shares that dream, but few can relate to his remarkable story.

Rodriguez served as an Army infantryman in both Iraq and Afghanistan, including earning a Bronze Star for Valor and a Purple Heart for his heroism in the Battle of Kamdesh - one of the bloodiest battles of the war in Afghanistan.

Upon his return, Rodriguez has worked to achieve a longtime goal and fulfill a promise to a good friend: play college football.

Rodriguez cites that promise to Pfc. Kevin Thomson, who was killed in the Battle of Kamdesh, as one of the inspirations on his quest to play football. He is currently enrolled in community college, striving to meet Division I academic requirements to play football.

Rodriguez, a long-time Hokie fan, has said he wants to play for Virginia Tech.

Rodriguez' story will be told in two parts on Dan Rather Reports, beginning Tuesday night on HDNet. The producer of the profile, T. Sean Herbert, offered an exclusive preview at Yahoo! Sports' The Post Game. I suggest you cruise on over to read Rodriguez's story, which includes descriptions of his heroic acts in the Battle of Kamdesh.  

But if you need more convincing, check out the American hero in action as he trains for the gridiron.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, has you covered with this daily newsletter. View a preview.

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Since: Aug 24, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 12:05 am

Army hero Daniel Rodriguez's football dream

Really??? Really??? I think that anyone that VOLUNTEERS to put themself in harms way, and gets wounded enough to receive a medal for it, is a hero. Just sayin...

Since: Nov 27, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 11:32 am

Army hero Daniel Rodriguez's football dream

I would love for this guy to suit up for the Hokies.  Beamer should do everything he can to get Daniel on the roster as a walkon.

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:09 pm

Army hero Daniel Rodriguez's football dream

does not imply anything other than getting wounded

Beg to differ: With an Infantry MOS, it means he was where bullets and other munitions were flying -- that's far superior to sitting in a classroom or cooking up a batch of french fries. For a combat arms soldier/Marine/sailor/airman, there is a real potential that a Purple Heart could be handed to a family member because the service member sacrificed everything.

De Oppresso Liber

Since: Dec 14, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2012 6:32 pm

Army hero Daniel Rodriguez's football dream

Thanks to Daniel Rodriguez for his service to our country, and best of luck to him in fighting on to meet his dreams of playing collegiate football.  Also, take note that San Diego State University recently signed Justin Aysse to play on their offensive line.  Aysse is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served in Iraq (2007-8) and in Afghanistan (2009).  As a military veteran, myself, it does me good to see these guys motivated enough to chase after their dreams of playing football at the collegiate (FBS) level.  Best of luck to both Mr. Rodriquez and Mr. Aysse.

Since: May 18, 2011
Posted on: February 7, 2012 2:42 pm

Purple Heart

While I am sure that Rodriguez is a gutsy and quite heroic, the Purple Heart is for being wounded in battle and does not imply anything other than getting wounded.


Since: Nov 30, 2010
Posted on: February 7, 2012 2:04 pm

Army hero Daniel Rodriguez's football dream

I served 21 years and used the Gi bill to earn a BS and Master degree after retiring from the AF. It is not easy to acclaimate yourself to college so he is in for a rough time but i am possitive he will succeed. Perserverance pays off. He certainlyprojects the attitude necessary to achieve his goal. I wish he the best of luck and thank him for his dedicated service to our country. I've been retire longer than I served but I'm still proud to associate myself with hero's like Daniel. God bless you young man.

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