D-Day will always be a day when we look to the past, to honor and remember those who sacrificed so much at the outset of the liberation of Europe. However, the 75th anniversary of D-Day turned out to be an extra special day for a current member of our military who also happens to be an NFL football player.
Patriots long snapper Joe Cardona, a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, was promoted to Lieutenant on the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings.
Very cool moment at Gillette Stadium this morning: Patriots LS Joe Cardona, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. A special honor that takes place on the 75th anniversary of D Day.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) June 6, 2019
Cardona attended the academy from 2011-2014. Since then, he has balanced his football life with his military commitments in the Naval Reserve. His football life was highlighted by two Super Bowl victories, his military life has been highlighted, in large part, by Thursday’s promotion.
Following Thursday’s practice @Patriots coach Bill Belichick on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Joe Cardona’s promotion to Lieutenant in the @USNavy and the @NHLBruins Game 5 matchup with St. Louis. pic.twitter.com/bp843hSVai
— Bob Socci (@BobSocci) June 6, 2019
According to 12UP, “A fifth-round pick by the Patriots back in 2015, Cardona has yet to miss a game during his four years as a pro, and has accomplished more than most during his time away from the game.”
The Patriots have a special connection with the Naval Academy. Head Coach Bill Belichick’s father coached at Annapolis for 33 years. Cardona joins former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach as the only former Navy grads to win multiple Super Bowl championships.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn