Former NFL players meet and greet with Great Lakes sailors

GREAT LAKES, Il. (Jan. 29, 2020) Donald Driver (left), former player for the Green Bay Packers, and Alex Brown, former player for the Chicago Cubs, pose for a photo with Sailors during a Super Bowl meal at Galley 535 at Naval Station Great Lakes. The event, hosted by Great Lakes Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR), had tailgate themed food, a meet and greet with the players, and a raffle for the Sailors. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Brigitte Johnston)

GREAT LAKES, Ill.  – Sailors from Naval Station Great Lakes and its tenant commands had the chance to meet with former NFL stars Alex Brown, of the Chicago Bears, and Donald Driver, of the Green Bay Packers, during a Super Bowl meal at Galley 535 January 29, 2020.

The dinner served over 1500 Sailors tailgate style food such as burgers and hot dogs as well as a themed cake in honor of the event. Sailors and staff had the opportunity to meet Driver and Brown, receive autographs, and enter to win prizes sponsored by Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR).

“It’s always great to see people come out and support our Sailors,” said Capt. Ray Leung, Naval Station Great Lakes commanding officer. “For Brown and Driver to be out here, meeting with Sailors, it’s a real morale boost for the base.”

Leung presented the two players with official base ball caps and got a chance to talk with them. Driver has previously participated in this event 17 times.

“I always say that if the Bears fans keep having me back, I’ll keep coming back,” said Driver. “These [service members] don’t know what their future is going to hold. They’re going to travel all over the world and knowing that they’re going to be fighting for our country. So if we know we can continue coming back here and giving back to them and supporting them, then that’s what we’ve got to do. And I think they love the opportunity that they get to see two NFL players coming out to support what they do every day to keep us safe.”

While Sailors and staff could get their own fan gear signed, the pair had autographed photos for attendees. Between signing and selfies, Driver and Brown got to talk with football fans.

“It was really cool,” said Seaman Apprentice Angel Navarez. “It was the first time I got to meet someone famous. I’m from Colorado so I’m mainly a Broncos fan but it’s just nice meeting players overall.”