The Philadelphia Eagles have signed Alejandro Villanueva, a lineman who spent the past four years serving in the U.S. military, most recently as a U.S. Army Ranger. It was announced today that Villanueva signed a rookie free agent contract.
The 6’ 9”, 277 pound served three tours in Afghanistan throughout his four years in the U.S. Army. The 25 year old last played football for the Army in 2009. Despite the lack of time spent playing in recent history, he was recruited while playing the Super Regional Combine in Detroit last month.
Villanueva has received many medals throughout his time served:
The Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Ranger Tab, the Parachutist Badge, the Bronze Star Medal for overseas service, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Expert Infantryman’s Badge.
Villanueva told NFL’s media Albert Breer:
“The four years I’ve had in the Army have been the best four years you could ask for. The guys I served with, above me and under me, were phenomenal guys. They were good experiences that made me the man I am today. But now, I see this as a win-win situation. Obviously, I’m trying to get to a team and contribute. But if I can’t, then I can’t wait to get back to the Army and serve in the same manner that I have.”