Really cool story for you guys. In honor of Veteran’s Day this weekend, Alejandro Villanueva is handing out Army decals for each Pittsburgh Steeler to weak this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Villanueva is handing out decals for 13 different Army divisions. Villanueva served as an Army Ranger in the military.
“It’s just a small-unit patch that really doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, but the history behind it means the whole world to a lot of veterans,” Villanueva told Fowler. “They died for that patch. When you watch the Steelers on Sunday and you see the flash of the 10th round division and the 7th round division … you’re calling out specific units.”
Villanueva is handing out specific decals to match the personalities of each player. Fowler’s article has a couple examples and it’s a really cool touch to the gesture.
Obviously, there was plenty of backlash in Week 3 when the Steelers stayed in the tunnel during the National Anthem and, according to the team, miscommunication caused Villanueva to stand by himself outside of it. Shortly after, Villanueva became the league’s top-selling jersey. I believe he is somewhere in the top 25 of jersey sales currently. He’s reiterated he doesn’t want to be seen as a post child for boycotts or anti-kneeling protests, saying the media “used him as a tool” in their political spin of it all.
In this video, also from Fowler, you can check out Villanueva giving Marcus Gilbert a 101st Airborne Division decal. Gilbert said he was honored and thanked Villanueva for his service.
Politics aside, I know it’s a messy time in that realm, this is an awesome gesture and great way to honor those who serve and those who have given their life for this country. I’m sure we’ll see plenty of close-ups of the decals during Sunday’s game.